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Wallaby Hooker signs with NSW Waratahs

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The NSW Waratahs can today confirm the signing of Wallabies Hooker Tolu Latu on a one-year deal for the 2023 season.

The 21-Test Wallaby has finished his three-season stint with Stade Francais in the French Top 14 and will add valuable depth to the Waratahs’ forward pack ahead of their 2023 Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

Latu, a Canterbury Junior and Sydney University Hooker, has enjoyed plenty of success at the Waratahs, making his Super Rugby debut in 2014 and featuring in their Super Rugby Final win over the Crusaders.

The 29-year-old hooker spent six seasons and amassed 55 caps in Sky-Blue before heading to France at the conclusion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The dynamic hooker most recently played for the Wallabies on their Northern Hemisphere tour last year, featuring in two Tests as one of Dave Rennie’s overseas selections.

Latu is also no stranger to Waratahs’ Head Coach Darren Coleman after playing under him with the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship.

The Wallaby hooker was grateful for the chance to return home to NSW and play for the Waratahs.

“I’m so excited to be going back to where it all started for me,” Latu said.

“Sydney is, and always will be my home, and I’m so fortunate to be given the opportunity to represent the Waratahs once again.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was thrilled to add a player of the caliber and experience of Latu to his roster.

“We’ve all seen when he’s on point there are not many more damaging hookers in world rugby,” Coleman said.

“I’ve coached Tolu twice before in NRC and he was always a positive team member.

“We will be working hard to iron out some of his weaknesses and I believe he’ll not only get swept up in our positive team culture but add to it over time.

“He’s a proud Waratah champion who is very motivated to play a part in getting the organisation back to its winning ways.”

Latu will join the squad on December 1 for the start of the Waratahs’ pre-season.

Please click this link to register your interest in a 2023 NSW Waratahs membership.

Content & Images from – Waratahs Rugby

Super Rugby

Brumbies confirm coaching group for 2023 season

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Brumbies Rugby have confirmed Laurie Fisher, Rod Seib and Dan Palmer will form the club’s coaching group for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season with returning head coach Stephen Larkham.

Widely acknowledged as one of the best technical coaches in the world, 2023 will be Fisher’s sixth season in his third stint at the Brumbies, Fisher having previously worked with Larkham in the former flyhalf’s playing days and in his early years as a coach.

Seib will continue for his third season at the Brumbies having joined the club at the end of 2020. A long-time head coach in Brisbane’s Hospital Cup, Seib served as Queensland’s Academy head coach before making the move to Canberra and has added to his strong reputation since taking charge of the Brumbies attack, serving as an assistant coach for Australia A’ during the recent Pacific Nations Cup. 

Brumby 132 Dan Palmer will step into a full-time role in the club’s coaching group in 2023 having had several successful stints in charge of the Brumbies scrum, the former Wallaby having also previously worked with Larkham as both a player and a coach.

Brumbies CEO, Phil Thomson said: “We’re pleased to be able to have such strong continuity within our coaching group as Steve takes over as head coach.”

“Laurie is obviously a world-class coach and he continues to be incredibly passionate about the Brumbies, and in Rod we have a detailed, intelligent coach who has made a great impression on the club so far.

“It’s fantastic also to have Dan come on full-time, and we’re excited to see him have a larger role within the group having watched his growth as a scrum coach.

“It’s rare to be able to assemble a coaching group with such continuity and shared experience and we’re confident they will put in place a program, along with our wider High-performance staff that will allow our squad to continue to develop and build on recent seasons as we look forward to 2023.”

Content & Images from – Brumbies Rugby

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Queensland Reds release centre to join Western Force

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The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has agreed to terms for the release of Hamish Stewart to the Western Force ahead of next year’s Super Rugby Pacific season.

Red General Manager of Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “The Western Force made the request through the appropriate channels. They had a need with some injuries and departing inside backs.

“We have good depth at centre and some salary cap pressure with a large contingent of national players, so this is a good result for all parties.

“We’d like to thank Hamish for his commitment to Queensland Rugby over the past six years and we wish him all the very best with his move west.”

“I’ve had a really good time at the Reds,” said Stewart.

“They gave me my first crack at Super Rugby, and I’ll always be extremely grateful for the club.

“I’m sad to go, but I know they’re in good hands with the staff and playing group there at the moment.”

A Darling Downs product, Stewart debuted for Queensland in 2017 and went on to play 72 games for the Reds.

The 24-year-old rose through the ranks alongside many of his Reds’ teammates, starring for the Junior Wallabies and in the Brad Thorn coached championship-winning Queensland U20s and Queensland Country sides in 2017.

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds Rugby

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Sef Fa’agase re-commits to Queensland Rugby

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Versatile prop Sef Fa’agase has signed with the Queensland Reds through 2024.

The two-year deal sees the 31-year-old’s career come full circle, with Fa’agase rising through the Queensland pathway and making his Reds debut in 2015 before stints with the Melbourne Rebels, Highlanders and abroad.

Fa’agase re-joined the Reds squad in the backend of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season and featured in five games, bringing his Queensland cap tally to 48.

Fa’agase said: “I chose to re-sign with the Reds because it’s my home state, it’s where my journey started.

“Looking from afar for the last four years, I’ve been really excited about the way this group plays footy, especially the tightness on and off the field which I got a taste for it this year.

“I feel this season, especially towards the backend, there was a lot left out there, so I wanted the chance to hopefully go further next season with this group.

“I’m grateful for the chance to be back here representing Queensland, my partner and my family.”

Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “Sef made the most of his opportunity as injury cover this season.

“He has history with the Reds and brings experience and versatility in being capable either side of the scrum.

“He has the opportunity to reach 50 games for Queensland in 2023, so there’s plenty of motivation for him next season.”

A Logan product, Fa’agase made his Queensland debut in 2015 after helping the University of Queensland to the Hospital Cup title in 2014.

With the ability to play on both sides of the scrum, the prop played 43 games for Queensland between 2015 and 2018.

In 2016, Fa’agase played with the Wallabies XV against the Barbarians and was part of the Australian wider training squad in 2017, before taking his talents across the ditch to New Zealand the following year.

Fa’agase featured for Canterbury in the National Provincial Championship (NPC) and went on to play Super Rugby for the Highlanders in 2019.

Fa’agase turned out for the Yokohama Canon Eagles in Japan and the New England Free Jacks in the United States in 2020 and 2021, before he returned to Super Rugby with the Melbourne Rebels ahead of their 2022 campaign.

Long-term injuries to Taniela Tupou and Zane Nonggorr saw Fa’agase added to the Reds squad as injury cover late in the season, with Fa’agase’s experience and leadership ensuring he was rewarded with a new a two-year deal.

Sef Fa’agase

  • Position: Prop
  • Height: 185cm
  • Weight: 117kg
  • Born: 03/05/1991
  • Place of birth: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Senior Club: University of Queensland
  • School: Shailer Park State High
  • Queensland debut: 13/02/2015 v Brumbies, GIO Stadium, Canberra
  • Queensland caps: 48
  • Super Rugby caps: 53

Content & Images from – Queensland Reds Rugby

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