Drew Mitchell confirms move to Waratahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Drew Mitchell confirms move to Waratahs

By Justin Chadwick 24/04/2009 02:24:43 PM Comments (0)

Drew Mitchell has confirmed he will leave the Western Force at the end of the Super 14 season to join the NSW Waratahs.

Mitchell becomes the second high-profile Wallaby to defect from the Force this season following Matt Giteau's decision to return to the Brumbies.

In fact, Mitchell said Giteau's impending departure played a big part in his decision to leave the Force to seek greener pastures.

The 25-year-old winger, who has 29 Test caps to his name, is likely to assume the fullback mantle at the Waratahs, replacing the Cardiff-bound Sam Norton-Knight.

"Obviously I had been assessing my future for quite some time, which indicates how much I've enjoyed it here in Perth for the past three years," Mitchell said in a statement on Friday.

"There was speculation that my leaving the Force was a forgone conclusion once Matt Giteau signed with the Brumbies but that certainly wasn't the case.

"I considered a range of factors and had very good offers from both the Force and the Waratahs.

"Matt was obviously a big reason I came to Perth, so him leaving the club did have an impact, but I've said all along I'd base my decision on rugby and lifestyle.

"My decision was based very much on my personal circumstances and where I wanted to be.

"It wasn't a financial decision.

"I have really enjoyed my time in Perth.

Mitchell played 35 games for the Queensland Reds before making the move west for the 2007 season.

But things turned sour when Mitchell lost hundreds of thousands of dollars when his third-party sponsor Firepower collapsed.

Mitchell wasn't the only one to lose out, with Giteau and several other high-profile players also left out of pocket when the failed fuel technology company buckled.

The Force will now turn their attention to trying to retain Wallabies No.8 Richard Brown, teenage sensation James O'Connor and scrumhalf Josh Valentine.

Winger Scott Staniforth and hooker Tai McIsaac have already confirmed they will venture to Japan at the end of the season, while flanker Tamaiti Horua will link up with Irish provincial side Ulster.

The players aren't the only ones deserting the Force, with chief executive Greg Harris resigning earlier in the week to return home to Sydney.

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