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Thread: Waugh departure could trigger mass exodus

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    Waugh departure could trigger mass exodus



    Josh Rakic | March 29, 2009


    WARATAHS officials are braced for a mass player exodus should veteran skipper Phil Waugh pull the pin on his illustrious 11-season career with the Sydney franchise and accept an offer to play Welsh rugby.

    With 13 other players off contract at season's end - including stars Matt Dunning, Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Adam Freier, Tom Carter, Brett Sheehan and Daniel Halangahu - a Waratahs insider says a decision by Waugh to leave could have a detrimental flow-on effect for the team.

    "He's the heart and soul of the club and all of the players have a lot respect for him. He's the reason a lot of them are here in the first place," the insider said.
    "There are a number of players who are waiting on Phil to make his decision before they commit themselves, and the other blokes realise that he could trigger a mass exodus.

    "It's a big deal. If four or five leave as a result of Phil, then a few of the other blokes could well decide to leave on account of that.

    "If everyone decides to go, then it's going to make it harder for the blokes who want to stay. It'll definitely hold some weight in their decisions."

    Adding injury to insult is the suggestion that most of the unsigned group, which also includes Sekope Kepu, Beau Robinson, Will Caldwell and Tatafu Polota-Nau, could join utility back Sam Norton-Knight in continuing their careers abroad. The move would cost the Waratahs, Super 14 and the Wallabies dearly.

    "Players' decisions on where to continue their careers will vary a bit, but most blokes who decided to leave would go overseas, I'd say," the insider said.

    "In saying that, my feeling is that should Phil stay, the rest of the players will stay, too. And the feeling I'm getting is that Phil wants to stay, but he's indicated he's still a week or two away from making his mind up. He's 30 this year, so it'll probably be his last contract. There are a lot of things to weigh up."

    Another headache for the Waratahs is how to accommodate five-eighth Beale and Halangahu regardless of Waugh's decision, with either unlikely to re-sign if the other is assured the No.10 jumper.

    "Kurtley's decision will weigh heavily on how Daniel performs over the next few weeks and whether he accepts a two-year offer tabled to him," the informant said.
    "If Daniel makes a fist of the No.10 jumper then I can't see Kurtley wanting to hang around. Rugby league is definitely a real option for him."

    However, the Waratahs' chances of retaining Beale as a possible replacement for Norton-Knight at fullback have been boosted by the revelation that Force flyer Drew Mitchell is highly unlikely to accept an offer to join the club.

    It's a scenario that could become all too familiar for the Tahs should Waugh depart.
    "The Waratahs have already lost a lot of other key senior players in Dan Vickerman, Rocky Elsom and David Lyons," said former Wallabies coach and Sun-Herald columnist John Connolly. "Should they lose Phil Waugh too, it wouldn't send a good message to the rest of the players."

    "We saw Queensland a number of years ago when they lost a whole heap of their senior players in one go and they never recovered.

    "The Phil Waugh factor is a major issue. His ability to develop good players around him and attract new players to the club is priceless to the Waratahs, and if he left it would have a massive effect on player retention. He's very important to this young team.

    "Again, that's something Queensland hasn't been able to do since John Eales and Co left - attract big-name players."

    NSW officials are said to be desperate to retain the 77-Test veteran, but ARU support has been minimal.

    http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/n...657201272.html

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    Anyone else get the feeling the "insider" is Phil's Manager...

    Why Harris is rooting around with Dunning when Kepu is available I'm buggered if I know, buy in the future not a has been tha never really was!
    Kepu was really handy this weekend and is a definate for the future.
    Likewise TPN.
    Of the rest, if Sheehan goes it will be to the NH or a straight swap for Valentine, Carter and Hangers are worth a look, especially as a package deal (hundreds of successful hours playing together at Syd Uni there), I can't see them letting Horne go and likewise Caldwell. Robinson would be ideal fifth team material and maybe a couple of years in the NH would see him come of age, he has the potential when he's not in the naughty corner.
    The rest will re-sign or aren't really that big a deal for other teams to lose their own players for.

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    Josh Rakic, newly appeared Mungo hack at the SMH is on a roll here. Does not hint even vaguely where or what his sauce is inside of. Simply "the insider." Most likely "inside" the offices of Phil Waugh's player agent.

    Give my boy a substantial last contract or half your squad is off. FFS!

    EDIT

    Oops! Beat me to the punch Burgs. But it's not rocket science is it?

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    Senior Player Contributor Cowboy's Avatar
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    Slightly off topic but more general comment here
    Isn't it odd the way that union a once proudly ammateur sport has turned into the most mercenary. It seems that anything goes in contract negotiations.

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    At least its not just the Force thats having such staffing issues.

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    Phil Waugh manager is pushing for an ARU top up contract... He is past his prime and the offer should go to Pocock... The Tahs can still operate with out Waugh and Dunning, Freier. If Beale isn't prepared to compete for his jersey he is believing to much of the BS surrounding him... Waugh will get 150K to play with the Tahs and if he makes the Wallabies squad then additional fees, if he is not happy with that he should go north and take a nice twilight contract...

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    not many of those off contract players would get a start at another s14 club, as if they will move.

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    Horne would probably start at most clubs, he is the next major big thing coming up for the Wallabies.

    How about a Western force lineup next season of 10 JOC 12 Horne 13 Cross?

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Tahs will hang onto Horne he's a great prospect...

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    Phil Waugh manager is pushing for an ARU top up contract... He is past his prime and the offer should go to Pocock...
    Phil Waugh has been offered a ARU top-up, the current issue is over the size of the top-up

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    he should give them money to keep him eligible to play for the wallabies. that way incase pocock is injured we have someone with experience to fall back on

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    Veteran mudskipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOCC View Post
    Phil Waugh has been offered a ARU top-up, the current issue is over the size of the top-up
    Then he wants more than he is worth... Do you know how much?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    he should give them money to keep him eligible to play for the wallabies. that way incase pocock is injured we have someone with experience to fall back on
    As other posts have indicated he is getting a top up, he just wants a bigger one. Given Daniel Braid is the 4th player playing in 7 at the moment in Australia and is ineligible to play for the Wallabies obviously you would think that keeping Waugh in the country.

    Contractual cat and mouse I guess
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    What's with this mass exit to Wales. I can't imagine the Magners League has similar money to the Top 14 in France.

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    A good exchange rate between the English pound and the Aussie dollar probably, after all most of them will probably come back to Australia when they are done playing?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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