Waratahs fail to sign another top player - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs fail to sign another top player

By Adrian Warren 15/06/2006 04:32:11 PM Comments (0)

NSW rugby coach Ewen McKenzie believes money is the reason why the Waratahs have now missed out on signing four high-profile centres.

The latest big name target to turn down the Waratahs was Sydney-born Roosters rugby league star Ryan Cross, who opted to join the Perth-based Western Force on Wednesday.

There was however some good news on the signing front for McKenzie, with Wallaby lock Alex Kanaar committing to another two years with the Waratahs.

Cross, who was raised, educated and currently resides a short distance from the Waratahs' Aussie Stadium base, said he had been very impressed with the NSW setup, but felt the move west was the best opportunity for him and his family.

It continued a run of midfield recruiting disappointments for NSW, who also missed signing Wallaby centres, Matt Giteau (moved to Force) and Lloyd Johansson (stayed at Reds) and Test rugby league centre Mark Gasnier (stayed in league).

"All sorts of reasons have been thrown up, but I think money has probably been the determining factor," McKenzie said.

"You can couch that anyway you like really, but I think there's obviously been better deals thrown on the table.

"We're determined to be quite prudent in the way we offer our money, so we've maintained our integrity, if that's not good enough to get people to the table.

"In the end we are offering a position in a squad that's been in the semi-finals the last two years, so it's not like we're offering a hit and miss type situation.

"We feel we've got a product, if players don't want to take it up, that's fine. In the end, we really only want people that want to be here."

McKenzie felt Cross, who played alongside current Waratahs Phil Waugh, David Lyons and Adam Freier in the 1997 Australian Schoolboys team before switching to league, would have been a "natural fit" for his team.

"But it hasn't transpired. I sort of felt about a week ago that it probably wasn't going to happen," McKenzie said.

With experienced inside back Shaun Berne leaving to join English club Bath, another midfielder remains a recruiting priority for McKenzie.

However, the NSW coach is in no hurry to fill the vacancy and is not necessarily looking for a big name signing.

"We don't have to sign a high profile guy there, we've got a number of options, so we're not concerned about the fact that we haven't filled that at this point," McKenzie said.

"What we do know is by the time you get to the end of September, there's always a couple of faces that come out that period of time, so we might bide our time a little bit and have a look."

McKenzie said he believed NSW was "pretty close" to reaching re-signing Freier, while back rower Stephen Hoiles was in negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union.

Kanaar, who played in every Waratahs Super 14 game this season, said re-signing with NSW had been an easy decision to make.

"I never really contemplated leaving New South Wales," Kanaar said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news