The NSW Waratahs are proud to announce that Izaia Perese has re-signed with the side and Australian Rugby on a two-year deal, keeping him in Sky Blue at least until the end of the 2024 season.
Perese, one of the most damaging ball-carrying centres in Super Rugby, had a breakout season in 2021 becoming the first player since Michael Hooper in 2013 to win the Matt Burke Cup in his debut season at the Waratahs.
Perese’s devastating form culminated in selection in Dave Rennie’s end of season tour of the Northern Hemisphere where he earned two Test caps, making his Wallabies debut against Scotland.
2021 Matt Burke Cup winner Izaia Perese said “A major part of me re-signing is my happiness, I just love the Waratahs and everything they are about, and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Waratahs gave me last season.
“The whole organisation from the coaching staff, players, and admin office opened their arms and looked after me making me feel incredibly welcome. So, it was an easy decision to extend my time here.
“I genuinely believe we are building something pretty special here at the Waratahs under Darren Coleman, Jason Gilmore, Chris Whitaker, and Pauli Taumoepeau. Our playing group is one of a kind and it’s an environment that has allowed me to play my best footy and a place I want to stick around and be a part of.
“It’s a similar feeling in what Dave Rennie is doing with the Wallabies and the culture he has established in his time there. I’m extremely grateful for the experience I got on the spring tour last year and it’s a team I’m incredibly motivated to be a part of especially with a Rugby World Cup not too far away.”
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was delighted to retain the services of his strike centre.
“Izzy is a genuine powerhouse that could lay claim to being one of the most powerful ball carriers in Australian rugby,” Coleman said.
“We are delighted that he’s decided to re-commit to the Waratahs as he is an incredibly sought-after player and it’s a good reflection of the trajectory we are on.
“Izzy is a pleasure to coach, and we are confident our team and program can turn him into a World Cup Wallaby.”
Waratahs General Manager of Rugby Andrew Blades said “Izaia is a big part of this team, and still at just 24 years of age, we believe his best football is still ahead of him.”
The NSW Waratahs take on the Western Force this Sunday at Leichhardt Oval.