ARU deals for front-rowers Moore, Alexander

Last updated 13:33 26/01/2013

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Experienced front-rowers Stephen Moore and Ben Alexander have signed new two-year contracts with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU).

The agreements will expire after the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and are a huge boost for the Wallabies ahead of this year's British and Irish Lions series.

Moore is Australia's most-capped hooker and Alexander sits fourth on the appearance list for props.

Moore, 30, said the lure of a third World Cup, and a debut series against the Lions, made the decision to snub a lucrative move to European club rugby an easy one.

"I've still got a lot that I would like to achieve both with the Brumbies and the Wallabies, and I can't do that by heading overseas," he said.

"Courtney (Moore's wife) and I are well settled in Canberra now, and that aspect of our lives has taken on an even greater importance after the birth of our son Theodore at the start of this year.

"While playing Super Rugby, and representing one's country at Test level is a big commitment, and requires a lot of travel, we have the support structures in place for Courtney here, have a lot of friends around us and both still love the Australian lifestyle."

On the recent Spring tour, Moore eclipsed Jeremy Paul's previous record for the most appearances by an Australian hooker, playing his 73rd Test in the defeat against France in Paris.

Alexander, who made his debut in 2008, has played 48 Tests and is poised to become just the fourth Australian prop to achieve a half century of appearances.

He said re-signing was an easy decision following the Wallabies' end to the year which featured wins over England, Wales and Argentina.

"While last year was an eventful one, and provided a lot of challenges for everyone associated with the Wallabies, it was a tight group," Alexander said.

"We stuck together and showed what it meant to us to represent Australia.

"The wins in Argentina, where none of us had ever played a Test before, and against England at Twickenham, were incredibly special performances.

"The team showed great heart and togetherness in the face of extreme adversity.

"While we might not be ranked number one in the world at the moment, I truly believe we have the potential to get there."

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- AAP

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