Reds loose forward Beau Robinson has capped his break-out season by signing a new two-year deal with the Queensland franchise which will keep him in Brisbane until the end of 2013.
The hard working flank is set to return to the Reds starting line-up this weekend for their semifinal clash with the Blues at Suncorp Stadium after recovering from a dislocated shoulder that has kept him out of action for the last few weeks.
Robinson's professional rugby career has a fairy tale feel about it as he was very much in the wilderness just a year ago before making the most of a lifeline thrown to him by Reds boss Ewan McKenzie. He took the opportunity with both hands and proved himself to be one of the table-topping Reds' most valuable players this season.
Robinson spent four years at the Waratahs, playing in the shadow of the iconic Phil Waugh without getting many opportunities. In 2008 his services were deemed to be surplus to requirements in Sydney and he set off to play in Italy before his stint in Europe was cut short by the death of his brother.
The ultra committed flank then started from scratch, playing club rugby in Sydney until his former Waratahs coach McKenzie invited him to be a part of the Reds' wider training squad, although he needed to work as a part-time barman just to make ends meet.
The 24-year-old has been impossible to ignore this season, earning a reputation as a breakdown menace, and he admitted that he was relieved to be rewarded for his hard work by the stability of a two-year contract.
He told AAP: "It's good to finally have that security after a few years just floating about in the wilderness not knowing what was going to happen next.
"I'm pretty proud. It's not lost on me what I've achieved this year so far - where I've come from and what I've had to do to get here - so it makes it extra special and means a lot more to me," he added.
The teenage Liam Gill, Robinson's replacement since his injury, has also made a big impression since getting his opportunity and McKenzie looks set to have a pleasant selection headache at openside flank in the years to come.
However, Robinson says that he is relishing the challenge as hard work is what got him to where he is today.
He said: "You don't want a free ride, I haven't had a free ride yet so I'm used to a bit of a battle and hard work and I wouldn't want it any other way.
"I've been in that situation so many times that I don't worry about what anyone else is doing, it's only a waste of time," he added.
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