The Western Force have re-signed hooker Nathan Charles for the 2015 Super Rugby season and until the end of 2016.
The mobile rake started in each match for the Force this season and has been a mainstay of the Western Australian forward pack since 2010. He was rewarded for his strong form this season with his Test debut for the Wallabies against France in Melbourne.
Charles, who has been named alongside Western Force teammates Pek Cowan, Matt Hodgson and Ben McCalman in the Australian squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship, currently has two international caps to his name and will be pushing for further representation during six Tests against Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.
The 25-year-old, who passed 50 Super Rugby matches for the Force in 2014, is the most capped hooker for the Western Australian club, despite initially joining the club on a short-term contract during the 2010 season.
Having made a successful return from a knee reconstruction that prematurely ended his 2013 campaign, Charles - nicknamed 'Cheese' - says he's looking forward to continuing to be a part of the resurgent Western Force.
"Next year will be my sixth year with the club and I'm very excited about the direction in which we're going," he said. "We obviously had a good season this season and that only makes you even more keen for a big year next year.
"It's been great to be a part of this group; we're extremely tight, no-one thinks they're above anyone else and everyone is working hard and trying to push ourselves and each other further.
"From the outset, Foles has judged me as a Test player which has held me to higher standards. I've also learned a lot from him from a technical point-of-view which has also helped me reach the next level.
"While it's great to be signing up for another two years, it's important that I keep working on and developing my game to be considered a dominant Super Rugby player, not just a competent one."
Charles says he's excited about pushing for further Test representation in the upcoming Rugby Championship.
"Making my Test debut was a dream come true but I haven't satisfied what I want to achieve at that level," he said. "I'm really excited about making the squad for the Rugby Championship and I'll be working hard towards hopefully getting another opportunity during the series."
Head Coach Michael Foley says Charles has developed into a cornerstone of the Western Force scrum.
"Nathan has always worked hard, but he is developing a greater awareness of his role in influencing the standards, attitude and vibe of the team, which has been critical in his improvement and ultimately his international selection," he said.
"Having Nathan stay on, as part of forward pack with a number of young and talented players, is exciting for the future."
Name: Nathan Charles
Born: 09/01/1989, Sydney
Super Rugby caps: 60
Super Rugby points: 15 (3 tries)
Super Rugby debut: 2010 v Stormers, Perth
Test caps: 2
Test points: 0
Test debut: 2014 v France, Melbourne
Representative Rugby: 2014 Australian Wallabies, 2008-09 Australian Under 20, 2006 Australian Schoolboys