Sheehan re-signs with ARU till 2011 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheehan re-signs with ARU till 2011

06/05/2009 04:27:51 PM Comments (0)

Two Brumbies scrumhalves will be given the boot this weekend but one of them could earn a reprieve with the NSW Waratahs next Super 14 season.

On a day of musical chairs between the country's halfbacks, Josh Valentine confirmed he would leave the Force to link up with the Brumbies for the next two seasons and NSW's Brett Sheehan announced his switch to the Force.

Sheehan, who has played second fiddle to Luke Burgess for much of the season, committed to the Force and the Australian Rugby Union until the end of 2011.

With Valentine to assume the role of No.1 halfback at the Brumbies next season, coach Andy Friend will axe two of the side's current scrumhalves, with Josh Holmes, Patrick Phibbs and James Stannard all in the firing line.

But given Burgess is the only No.9 contracted to NSW for next season, the Waratahs will consider throwing a lifeline to one of the axed Brumbies.

Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said a decision on who to dump would be made by the end of the week.

"I think for the benefit of the whole playing group you don't like these things hanging around longer than they really need to," Fagan told reporters on Wednesday.

"We've undertaken to have a decision to the guys by the end of the week and we'll try to hold true to that.

"They know there's only one spot available to join Josh Valentine here next year but they are ultimate professionals and they'll prepare appropriately and there'll be no greater challenge than just having a must-win game against the Blues on Saturday night.

"They are OK, they understand and I suppose are just waiting on our final position."

Valentine, eager to break back into the Wallabies set-up after earning four Test caps in 2006, was desperate to continue his blossoming relationship with star flyhalf Matt Giteau, who will also switch from the Force to the Brumbies next season.

"Josh moved to the Western Force (at the start of the season) to play with Matt Giteau, he signed a one-year deal because he knew Matt Giteau was on contract there for one season," Fagan said.

"So when Matt indicated he was going to come to the Brumbies ... Josh Valentine contacted us to express some interest in coming across and continuing his association with Gits.

"They see that as a good combination and one that they could take to Wallaby level, and we took that into account."

Meanwhile, the Brumbies are hopeful veteran Wallabies flanker George Smith will re-sign with the franchise by the end of the week.

"He's just in the final stages of weighing up all that he's got," Fagan said.

"But it's only been positive information coming out of the George Smith camp, so I'm really confident he'll be with us for another couple of seasons leading up to the Rugby World Cup in 2011."

The Force are still waiting on final decisions from emerging Wallabies Richard Brown and James O'Connor, with the pair fielding strong offers from rival clubs within Australia.

Drew Mitchell (NSW), Giteau (Brumbies), Scott Staniforth (Japan), Tai McIsaac (Japan), Tamaiti Horua (Ulster) and Ben Castle (Wales) have already confirmed they will leave the Force at season's end.

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