Rugby records await after Waugh re-signs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby records await after Waugh re-signs

By Adrian Warren 22/04/2009 08:04:13 PM Comments (0)

Phil Waugh is poised to become the most capped Waratah and could join the handful of Wallaby centurions after renewing his commitment to NSW and Australian rugby.

Despite taking a financial hit, the incentive of chasing three of rugby's biggest prizes has encouraged Waugh to remain in Australia.

The 29-year-old backrower has re-signed with the NSW and Australian Rugby Union for two years, taking him through to the 2011 World Cup.

Waugh is the 10th most capped Wallaby with 77 Tests and in his next appearance for NSW will become the most capped Waratah in Super rugby and within 10 appearances of halfback Chris Whitaker's state record of 118.

He admitted he probably would not have been able to stay in Australia had it not been for a third party top-up to his new contract.

"It's fair to say that I guess the gap would have been too big to sacrifice that amount of money," Waugh said.

"But I've always said all along that I am happy to sacrifice a significant amount of money to stay here and I guess I've done that."

Waugh has been part of NSW and Australian squads which have reached Super and World Cup finals and his desire to win those trophies persuaded him to remain at home.

"I'm very ambitious about the next two years and what I would like to achieve," Waugh said.

"Here at the Waratahs hopefully achieving what we've been trying to achieve for a long time now in winning a Super 14 title.

"Also, I guess the lure of being involved in winning the Bledisloe Cup back and also being involved in the 2011 World Cup and endeavouring to win that Cup which in 2003 got so close."

First capped by NSW in 1999 and Australia a year later, Waugh said he still had "a great love and pride in representing both NSW and Australia" and felt he could still make a considerable contribution to both.

Australian Rugby Union high performance unit manager David Nucifora praised Waugh for deciding to stay and fight for a Wallaby spot.

"Obviously there's a lot of competition Phil has played with throughout his career with George Smith," Nucifora said.

"It would be easy for a player to walk away from that and take whatever is on offer overseas.

"But I suppose it's a measure of the guy that he has decided to stay and take that battle head on and certainly Australian rugby is very grateful that he has that attitude".

Young Force flanker David Pocock has emerged as another rival for the openside position, but the fiercely competitive Waugh remained as determined as ever to fight for the Australian No.7 jersey.

He doubted his decision to re-sign would have any influence on long-time rival Smith, who has yet to decide on his future.

"The competition between George and myself has been great for both of us over a decade now and to be honest I hope he stays and I can keep fighting him for that No.7 position," Waugh said.

"That's the jersey I want, I'm not hiding or shirking away from the fact."

Waugh didn't rule out heading overseas after his new contract expired.

"I think my preference is always to stay with the Waratahs for as long as possible, but that doesn't rule out venturing overseas at the end of this contract," he said.

"I've really enjoyed my time here and hopefully stay here, but it's certainly attractive to head overseas."

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