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Super Rugby

Waratahs confirm 2019 squad and return of Wallabies Veteran

He’s back in the mix!

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Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The NSW Waratahs today unveiled the full squad via their for the 2019 Super Rugby season, with Head Coach Daryl Gibson making the final announcements to the line up.

In addition to Le Roux Roets and Karmichael Hunt who joined the squad from the Queensland Reds in a swap deal the announcement confirmed that Adam Ashley-Cooper will return to the NSW Waratahs and will officially start training next week after finishing his commitments with Japan’s Kobe Steelers side.

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Ashley-Cooper was a try-scoring hero in the Tah’s drought-breaking 2014 premiership-winning team. AAC thought he’d played his 61st and last game for the Waratahs three 3 ago when he looked to end his career in France.

But the 34-year-old found a new lease of life in Bordeaux before linking last year with Japanese Top League side Kobe Steelers.

After expressing his desire to return to Australia next season with an eye towards appearing at a fourth World Cup in 2019, the backline utility earned his 116th cap in the Wallabies’ win over Italy this month in Padova.

He and Kurtley Beale were then stood down from Australia’s season-ending loss to England at Twickenham on Saturday for taking guests back to their hotel room earlier on tour.

The Tahs were back in full pre-season training today with the return of the Wallabies squad members.

Gibson said he is excited for the season ahead and the depth within the squad he now has.

“Our squad is now finalised with just over a month to go until our first home game against the Hurricanes on 16 February at Brookvale Oval.

“One of the findings out of 2018 season review is that we played our best players too much and we needed to improve the depth of our squad. I believe the player mix we have provides that for us.

“It is great to be able to bring some of our younger players coming into the mix alongside some of the more experienced players who can help bring through that next generation. We have our great young New South Wales talent coming through and training and playing with our senior NSW Waratahs players,” said Gibson.

NSW WARATAHS 2019 SQUAD:

Cameron Clark (Northern Suburbs), Adam Ashley-Cooper (TBC), Kurtley Beale (Eastern Suburbs), Angus Bell (Sydney University), Jack Dempsey (Gordon), Ben Donaldson (Randwick), BJ Edwards (Eastern Suburbs), Damien Fitzpatrick (Eastwood), Lalakai Foketi (Eastern Suburbs), Israel Folau (Sydney University), John Folau (TBC), Bernard Foley (Sydney University), Jake Gordon (Sydney University), Ned Hanigan (Randwick), Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs), Will Harrison (Randwick), Jed Holloway (Southern Districts) Michael Hooper (Manly), Karmichael Hunt (TBC), Harry Johnson-Holmes (Sydney University), Sekope Kepu (Randwick), Tolu Latu (Sydney University), Mack Mason (Eastern Suburbs), Ryan McCauley (Eastern Suburbs), Will Miller (Northern Suburbs), Alex Newsome (Eastern Suburbs), Rory O’Connor (Warringah), Nick Phipps (Sydney University), James Ramm (Randwick), Tom Robertson (Sydney University), Le Roux Roets (TBC), Curtis Rona (TBC), JP Sauni (Parramatta), Mitch Short (Randwick), Rob Simmons (Randwick), Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs), Tom Staniforth (Eastern Suburbs), Rory Suttor (Sydney University), Lachlan Swinton (Sydney University), Patrick Tafa (Northern Suburbs), Chris Talakai (Sydney University), Andrew Tuala (TBC), Shambeckler Vui (Southern Districts), Cody Walker (Eastern Suburbs), Michael Wells (Northern Suburbs), Jeremy Williams (Eastern Suburbs)

Premiership

Te’o Heading to Play in Super Rugby

England centre Ben Te’o has been heavily linked with a move away from the English Premiership and reports now claim he could be playing for a Super Rugby side next season

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England and Worcester Warriors centre Ben Te’o could make a move to Super Rugby side the Queensland Reds according to Australian outlet The Courier Mail.

The 32-year-old’s contract with the Gallagher Premiership side ends this summer and it appears very unlikely that he will remain on English shores next season.

There have already been reports suggesting he has offers from French and Japanese clubs, however, it is thought that Brad Thorn is keen to bring in the Auckland native to replace departing centre Samu Kerevi.

Kerevi is one of a number of high-profile Australian players in line to leave the country after the Rugby World Cup, with the centre set for a move to Japan.

The Reds ended their season in a disappointing fourth position in the Australian conference which meant they failed to make the play-offs for a sixth successive season, but Thorn wants to bring the Queensland side back into contention with Super Rugby’s top sides.

Te’o, who was named as part of Eddie Jones’ England training camp this week in preparation for the World Cup would bring a huge amount of experience to the Aussie outfit.

He has 18 caps for England and played for the British & Irish Lions during their 2017 tour of New Zealand as well as his club career. If they do manage to claim his signature, it would be a decent way to fill the void being left by Kerevi.

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Super Rugby

Why Gibson is Stepping Away from the Waratahs

It was confirmed earlier today that Daryl Gibson would be walking away from the Waratahs and he has had his say on why

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(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Daryl Gibson has taken some time to explain his decision to resign from the Waratahs and has admitted he doesn’t know where he will go next. 

Gibson had a year left on his current contract with the Waratahs but believes that the talent coming up through the franchises ranks need a new coach to bring them on.

“We’ve got some absolute gold nuggets here that are going to filter through our system over the next three to four years and it’s time for another coach to take them on that journey and really own that process. Having been here for seven years, it’s time for a new voice, a new direction, a new game style as new players come into the team,” he said.

Of the 28 Wallabies to compete in the World U20 Championship final, 12 come from the Waratahs.

Gibson also insisted that the Israel Folau situation was not a contributing factor in his departure, however, he did admit that it had affected him personally.

“Obviously Israel’s had an incredible impact not only off the field but also on the field. We lost the highest try-scorer in the history of the competition and that has an impact, particularly on the (reduced) number of tries we scored during the season. It’s been a challenging period leading people through that. The time taken up and invested in that has taken away from rugby and focusing on it. I’m certainly challenged by that situation. I’m really proud of how the team’s responded to that situation but it has been tiring,” he added.

The former All Black then admitted he was entering the “totally unknown” and has not ruled out working with Michael Cheika again in the future.

“But I’m excited about that opportunity. I love coaching. I love being in rugby so there’ll be something there,” he finished.

Gibson’s time with the Waratahs was largely unsuccessful since taking over from former coach Cheika, with the side winning only 28 of the 64 games he has taken charge of.

The franchise will finish the Super Rugby season in 12th and will now need to find a replacement that can bring through the youth and bring success.

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Player Social

Will Genia hints that his Super Rugby career is over.

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Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

The Rebels played their final conference game on Saturday against the Chiefs in Melbourne but came out the wrong side of a drubbing.

After the game, Wallabies and Rebels’ scrum-half Will Genia took to Instagram with a very poignant post.

Genia (31) uploaded a picture collage with a try-scoring picture of himself getting over the whitewash for the Queensland Reds and more recently, the Rebels.

His caption read, “What a ride Super Rugby”.

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What a ride @superrugby ✌🏾

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His contract with the Rebels expires this year and he has been tipped for another move overseas. Genia has had a stint in Europe previously with Stade Francais but it’s rumoured that a move to Japan is looking more likely.

Quade Cooper, his current half back partner with the Rebels and previously with the Reds and Wallabies commented on the post,

“Much love bro! Been unreal being back together ✊🏾❤️ love you bro”

Quade Cooper is another whose contract is up in the air. His deal with the Rebels also expires at the end of the Super Rugby campaign and he has also been widely linked with a move to Europe with Harlequins one of the favourites to land the mercurial playmakers signature.

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