Big Dell jumps on 'Tahs juggernaut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Big Dell jumps on 'Tahs juggernaut

By Jim Morton 03/06/2005 07:04:43 PM Comments (0)

NSW will boast a Wallaby-laden backline next season after Wendell Sailor completed a 180-degree turnaround by jumping on board the Waratahs juggernaut.

Sailor, who played 17 rugby league State of Origin matches and 43 Super 12 games for Queensland, once vowed he would never wear the sky blue of NSW.

But he made what he described as the toughest decision of his career to sign a two-year deal with the Waratahs, who are also frontrunners to pick up fellow Test winger Clyde Rathbone.

If Rathbone joins Sailor in Sydney in 2006, this year's Super 12 rookie of the year and leading pointscorer Peter Hewat will be demoted to the bench.

Only at five-eighth would NSW lack a Test player with Chris Whitaker (halfback), Morgan Turinui (inside centre), Rathbone (outside centre), Sailor, Lote Tuqiri (wing) and Mat Rogers (fullback) earmarked for spots in a star-studded backline.

With the Crusaders, who beat NSW in last weekend's Super 12 final, poised to snare off-contract All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Byron Kelleher, the competition appears to be in danger of being dominated by two cashed-up powerhouse clubs.

McKenzie, though, played down the Waratahs' play for Sailor's services with words that served as encouragement for Hewat.

"Wendell came to us expressing a desire to play with a leading side and we think he'll add enormous depth to our backline next year," he said.

"Good sides like the Crusaders have quality players from jerseys one to 22 and beyond and it is an undeniable fact that without depth you ultimately cannot be successful."

Sailor was the leading tackle breaker in the Super 12 this season but leaves the Reds after scoring just 12 tries in 43 matches.

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