Palu hanging around for 'Tahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Palu hanging around for 'Tahs

By Adrian Warren 30/03/2011 07:27:58 PM Comments (0)

A recent addition to the family and the Japanese earthquake convinced Wallabies No.8 Wycliff Palu to stay home and join a host of recently re-signed Waratahs.

Palu and lock Dean Mumm on Wednesday each pledged their loyalty to the Waratahs and Wallabies for one more year.

They join fellow international forward Tatafu Polota-Nau and Wallabies backs Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes and Drew Mitchell.

Adam Ashley-Cooper announced on Tuesday that he will switch from the Brumbies to the Waratahs for next season.

"Seeing everyone else re-sign I got the feeling, that we've got something special here," Palu told reporters.

"This Waratahs squad has been together a for a while now, the feeling for me is we're pretty close to where we want to be.

"I had a little boy six months ago, so I just didn't want to pack him up and move somewhere else."

Arguably Australia's most explosive forward, Palu is known to have attracted attention from overseas, especially Japan.

Asked whether the destructive earthquake had influenced his decision Palu said, "I think it does, they are things that you take in when you look at it and it definitely did."

Two games into his comeback from long-term injury issues, Palu estimated he was about 80 per cent match fit.

The Waratahs welcomed back hooker Polota-Nau and prop Benn Robinson from injury for Friday's home game with the Chiefs.

Hooker Damien Fitzpatrick dropped back to the bench and Sekope Kepu moved across the scrum to deputise for the injured Al Baxter.

Former Western Force lock Pat O'Connor was named to make his NSW debut in place of Kane Douglas, who dropped out of the 22.

O'Connor played eight games in four years for the Force, but missed two of those seasons due to knee reconstructions.

He was briefly attached to the Wallabies' extended pre-spring tour camp last year, when he also represented New Zealand side Northland.

In the backs, Kurtley Beale moved from fullback to five-eighth for the injured Barnes.

Lachie Turner shifted to fullback from the wing, with that spot going to Atieli Pakalani.

Coach Chris Hickey named five forwards among his reserves for the second straight week.

Prop Paddy Ryan, a schoolboy team mate of Beale's, is poised to win his first Super cap off the bench, while five-eighth Daniel Halangahu was restored to the squad as another reserve.

NSW team to play the Chiefs: Lachie Turner, Atieli Pakalani, Ryan Cross, Tom Carter, Drew Mitchell, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Ben Mowen, Pat O'Connor, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Dave Dennis, Sitaleki Timani, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Daniel Halangahu.

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