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Moore elects to stay in Australia until 2016

The 31-year-old was named captain of the Wallabies earlier this year before injury ended his season.

Australian hooker Stephen Moore. Picture: Facebook.com

SYDNEY - Hooker Stephen Moore looks almost certain to join the ranks of Australia's test centurions after signing a contract extension until the end of the 2016 season on Monday.

The 31-year-old, who will also play at least another two seasons in Super Rugby with the ACT Brumbies, was named captain of the Wallabies earlier this year before injury ended his season.

Regardless of whether he returns to the captaincy under new coach Michael Cheika, the 92-test rake is bound to take his place in the squad's leadership group heading into next year's World Cup in England.

It was a rare bit of good news this month for the beleaguered Australian Rugby Union (ARU), who have come in for huge criticism over the Kurtley Beale text message saga.

Born in Saudi Arabia to Irish parents, Moore made his test debut against Samoa in 2005 and has been a forceful presence at the heart of the Australian front row for much of the last seven years.

"There were options for me to continue my playing career overseas but with a young family I thought the best option was to stay in Canberra and with the Brumbies," Moore said in a news release.

"I'm grateful to the ARU and Brumbies for the opportunity for me to continue my career in Australia. I'm looking forward to the next two seasons."

Elevated to the captaincy by former Australia coach Ewen McKenzie in June, Moore suffered a season-ending cruciate ligament injury minutes into the first test against France.

Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper became the sixth Australian to play 100 tests for his country against the All Blacks earlier this month, joining George Gregan, Nathan Sharpe, George Smith, Stephen Larkham and David Campese.