Force and Rugby Australia re-sign Ox-forward Robertson

The Western Force and Rugby Australia are thrilled to announce the re-signing of Tom Robertson through to 2025, with a sabbatical year studying at Oxford University in 2024.

The versatile prop has been a constant figure in the international arena, having played 31 games for the Wallabies since his debut in the gold jersey in 2016. Last year Robertson was capped in four of the five Spring Tour internationals and scored his first Test try against Italy in Florence. 

Robertson is a prominent piece in the Force's front row, notching up 33 caps in the West over the last three seasons, clocking up 95 overall in Super Rugby. 

The 28-year-old is currently rehabilitating an ACL injury he suffered against the ACT Brumbies in Round 13 of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific this year and hopes to return to play in mid 2024. 

Some say Robertson is the most educated prop in rugby, holding Bachelor of medical science, Master of public health and a Master of Philosophy-Medicine. Aiming to further his knowledge at the oldest University in the English-speaking world, Oxford University, Robertson admits he is living a lifelong dream. 

"I would like to thank the Western Force and Rugby Australia for allowing me to have this sabbatical, it's not every day people come together and allow you to miss half a year of rugby," Robertson said. 

"It's been a dream of mine to go to Oxford for a while now to study, it's really exciting, and I am incredibly appreciative to the Monash Foundation for helping fund this opportunity." 

"I have shown throughout my career how much it means to me. It's all about the experience, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity." 

"At Oxford, I will start a Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. This is about how to try and get governments to give the medical system more money, especially where I'm from in Dubbo." 

He is tough at the breakdown, tenacious around the park and athletic in attack. Robertson is a genuine contender. Away from the pitch Robertson is well aware of the importance of building a career. 

“From a rugby perspective, I think studying has helped my career, as having something off-field has been really helpful and important to me,” Robertson admits. 

“Having something to strive towards after your career is definitely important and not only is it good for my mental health it helps with rugby as well.” 

“I'm a long way from stepping into his [Mike Cadogan, Toms Mentor who is a emergency doctor at Sir Charles Gardiner] shoes, I would love to follow his path and hopefully, I can get there in 20 years or so. But I would love to be doing something like he is in the future.” 

Western Force head coach Simon Cron is delighted to have Robertson on the books for a further two years. 

“‘Tom is a big part of our team. He’s a great man, we love him. His versatility to cover both loosehead and tighthead is a huge asset to our squad.” Cron said. 

“He is an incredibly smart man, with big aspirations ahead in both his rugby and medical career.” 

“The Force will miss him in the mix next season; however his personality, work ethic and experience will be welcomed back in 2025”