Money not behind my move, says Mitchell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Money not behind my move, says Mitchell

By Justin Chadwick 25/04/2009 11:57:29 AM Comments (0)

Wallabies star Drew Mitchell has revealed he knocked back a more lucrative offer from the Western Force in order to link up with the NSW Waratahs next Super 14 season.

Although Mitchell is yet to sign on the dotted line, with the final touches still to be made to his Australian Rugby Union contract, the 25-year-old speedster will join the Waratahs in 2010 on a two-year deal.

Mitchell denied money was a factor behind his decision, saying he chose to join the Waratahs to be closer to family and also boost his chances of Wallabies selection ahead of the 2011 World Cup.

He also said the impending departure of Matt Giteau from the Force convinced him it was time to move on as well.

"It's not about money because I haven't taken the largest offer," Mitchell said after the Force's stunning 55-14 triumph over the Lions on Friday.

"For me money's not everything.

"I came over here and was expecting a mountain (through a third-party sponsorship deal with Firepower) and through no fault of the Western Force it didn't come through.

"It was just a man who emulates Houdini in Tim Johnston, who we are still looking for.

"He's playing a game of hide and seek, he just happens to be very good at it.

"From that you realise money isn't everything, and other things weigh into the decision probably more so than financially.

"I've really enjoyed my time here, I love the guys, I love the place, but at the same time I was just seeking to get a little bit closer to home.

"Brisbane's home for me but (Sydney) is not too far from there so that was a big thing for me to get closer to home, closer to friends and family, somewhere where I've got that support system around me.

"Their team is proven as well.

"Over the last five years they've always been up and around contending for finals.

"They're obviously doing something right over there.

"And I guess the disappointment of the World Cup in 2007 still rings true.

"You want to make sure you are in the best position you can and develop the best you can to put yourself in the reckoning for the 2011 World Cup.

"I've developed both as a player and a person since I've come here and that's a testament to the Force.

"But I feel like it's time for me to move on and open a new chapter."

Mitchell, who is likely to assume the fullback position at NSW from the departing Sam Norton-Knight, said he felt like a weight was lifted from his shoulders once he made his decision known.

"It certainly eases your mind," he said.

"The biggest thing from contracting is that any time you've got away from the game you are thinking about it.

"I guess once you've made your decision you are able to think of something else and focus on the job at hand.

"It was a hard decision, that's probably why it took me so long to decide."

The Force will now turn their attention to retaining Richard Brown, James O'Connor and Josh Valentine.

The Brumbies will be particularly keen to snatch O'Connor after fullback Mark Gerrard announced he was quitting the club to play rugby in Japan next year.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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