Rugby Australia and the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) have today announced the resigning of Hunter Paisami until the end of the 2024 season.
After debuting for the Reds in 2020, the hard-tackling centre has risen quickly to the international arena, having already played 24 games for the Wallabies.
The 25-year-old is currently rehabilitating an MCL injury he suffered against the Melbourne Rebels in Round 5 of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific this year and hopes to return for Queensland before the end of the 2023 campaign.
Paisami is renowned for being one of the fiercest tacklers pound-for-pound in the game, and looms as a constant threat for teams looking to spread the ball to the edges.
Born in Samoa, he earned his shot with the Reds in 2020 after standout campaigns with Wests in the StoreLocal Hospital Cup and Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship.
Paisami went on to play 15 of Queensland’s 17 matches that year, before debuting for Australia in a 16-16 draw against the All Blacks in Wellington the same season to cap an outstanding first year in the professional game.
He played all three Tests in the home series win against France in 2021 and was involved in nine of the Wallabies’ 14 Tests in 2022.
Paisaimi said: “I’m grateful to have re-signed with the Reds and Australian Rugby – Queensland is home for me and my young family.
“It’s a promising time with the opening of the new NRTC and I’m looking forward to using that facility. We have a lot to achieve on the field next season and I’m excited to be a part of it.
“It’s a big year for the Wallabies with the World Cup in France. Hopefully I get the opportunity to be a part of it, but for now I am focused on rehab and getting myself back on the field for the Reds.”
Wallabies Head Coach Eddie Jones said: “Hunter is a young player that is still learning and growing.
“He can play 12 or 13, and has the potential to be a really valuable centre in the years ahead – I hope he can get back from his injury and work on continuing that trajectory.”
Now firmly entrenched in the Queensland Reds backline, with six tries in 40 games in the maroon jersey, Paisami joins the likes of Tate McDermott, Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight, Seru Uru and Matt Faessler in re-committing to the Reds over the past two months.
Queensland Rugby General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “It's great to have another of our Wallabies recommit beyond the Rugby World Cup.
“Hunter has had a rapid rise since moving up from Melbourne in 2019.
“He’ll be another player to bring up 50 games for Queensland in 2024, and we hope to see him build on his 24 Test matches this year and next.”