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Waugh coy about his playing future

Darren Walton 10/06/2011 04:03:24 PM Comments (0)

Inspirational Waratahs captain Phil Waugh is refusing to say whether or not Saturday night will be his Sydney Football Stadium swansong.

The veteran flanker will make his eagerly-awaited Super Rugby comeback from a hamstring injury against the Highlanders in what will be the 31-year's 125th appearance in the sky blue jumper.

After a stop-start season battling injury after injury, Waugh is starting to field the inevitable questions about his playing future.

But on Friday he played them with a straight bat to make Steve Waugh proud - Steve Waugh the former Australian cricket captain and also Steve Waugh his father, the smash repairer.

"I suppose the time will come where my future does need to be decided," Waugh said.

"But at the moment I'm just excited about getting back out on the field, getting some good game time and playing well.

"To be honest, I haven't thought too far down the road.

"It's been about getting back out there on the field and getting out there and performing and leading the guys well."

Waugh last year spurned big-money offers to finish his career offshore to recommit to the Waratahs, and coach Chris Hickey won't be rushing the 79-Test warrior into any further decisions.

"Those discussions are ongoing at this stage," Hickey said.

"Phil's always said he's going to assess his future as the season goes on, see what his body's telling him and he's earned the right to take his time in making that decision through what he's contributed to the club."

Hickey is happy enough, for now, just to have his experienced skipper back to help the Waratahs' finals push.

"It's not just his performances in the No.7 that you value. That leadership in tight games like these count for a lot," Hickey said.

"Having strong leadership out on the field, making good decisions can be an important element in winning."

Waugh is only likely to play the first half against the Highlanders.

"These type of hamstring injuries can be vulnerable when fatigue sets in," Hickey said.

"We have to be careful."

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