Contract talk won't distract us: Waratahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Contract talk won't distract us: Waratahs

By David Beniuk 27/01/2011 08:13:03 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau says his contract negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union are on hold, but has shrugged off suggestions players could be distracted as they sort out their futures after this year's World Cup.

Amidst reports that a post World Cup player exodus to overseas clubs is on the cards, off-contract Polota-Nau said he was in no hurry to finalise a deal but did hint he was one star keen to stay in Australia.

His NSW Waratahs teammates Luke Burgess, Drew Mitchell and Dean Mumm are among those who have been linked to clubs in Europe, with the World Cup cycle always a factor in players' decisions.

"I'm just trying to live the moment which ... is just trying to get the preparations going to win the Super (competition)," Polota-Nau told reporters at Waratahs training on Thursday.

"Guys have to do what is in their best interests. If it comes around this time of year then so be it but I'm pretty sure they'll manage that."

Polota-Nau said he faced no distracting negotiations as he prepared for the Waratahs' two trials and opening round clash with new Super Rugby franchise the Melbourne Rebels.

"I'm in a stable position, not really much negotiation going on," he said. "No need to."

"I've spoken to the ARU but I told them to hold off a bit, just let me get my preparations right and they've come to the cause which is great.

"When the time's right, then I'll start that.

"For me, the main goal is to improve my rugby here first and foremost. I haven't quite nailed that yet so it's quite an easy one for me."

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said talk of disgruntled Wallabies quitting Australia at year's end was not a destabilising influence.

"Players are always making decisions about contracts whether it's a World Cup year or any other year," he said. "I don't think it's destabilising for the team.

"Obviously from a coaching point of view there's certain negotiations you'd like to finalise sooner rather than later."

Polota-Nau could face mentor Adam Freier in the opposite No.2 jersey when the `Tahs travel to AAMI Park for the historic clash with the Rebels on February 18.

"There would be nothing better than going against the biggest idol I had in my career," Polota-Nau said.

"I really hope he gets on the paddock because, if there's one thing I want to do, it's smash him."

In a major boost, injured centre Rob Horne could be ready to play as soon as the Waratahs' second trial match against the Western Force in Nowra in two weeks' time.

Horne has been given the all-clear by a specialist to resume contact training after suffering an elbow injury that had threatened his Super Rugby season.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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