Phil Waugh to retire but eyeing Rugby WCup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Phil Waugh to retire but eyeing Rugby WCup

By Russell Jackson 21/06/2011 05:25:40 PM Comments (0)

Record-setting NSW Waratahs captain Phil Waugh is headed for retirement but refuses to give up hope of a fairytale recall to the Wallabies for the World Cup.

The 31-year-old Waugh's representative career could be over as soon as Friday night if his beloved Waratahs lose their Super Rugby qualifying final against the Blues in Auckland.

But Waugh was looking for a far more glorious farewell with both a maiden Super Rugby title for NSW and a tilt at a third World Cup tournament for Australia when he announced he'll retire at the end of the season.

Waugh has 79 Test caps, including the final of the 2003 World Cup and four of Australia's five matches at the 2007 World Cup, and is the Waratahs' most capped player with 131 Super Rugby games.

He is also the Waratahs' most capped captain with 55 games as the NSW leader.

The inspirational skipper is 12th on the Wallabies all-time list for Test caps, and has also had the honour of leading his country on three occasions.

But he hasn't played for Australia since 2009.

"I've put probably everything I possibly can into playing for the Waratahs, and I'll continue to putting everything I possibly can into playing for the Waratahs and putting my name up for selection for the Wallabies," Waugh said.

"I've been very humbled and very proud to have represented Australia for over a decade, which has encompassed 79 Test matches, and I hope to increase on that number.

"It's obviously a big year for rugby and I want to be a part of that World Cup squad.

"I'm very proud of my career and what I've achieved and, in terms of rugby memories, I hope that my fondest memories occur over the coming months."

The 2003 John Eales medal winner hasn't had any contact with the Wallabies since making his announcement on Tuesday and said his best way into the squad is simple.

"No I haven't spoken to Robbie (Deans) but it's about performing on the weekend for me against the Blues," he said.

Waugh spent a number of seasons competing for the Wallabies' starting openside flanker spot with George Smith.

And with Smith retiring from Test rugby last season, Western Force star David Pocock has made the No.7 jersey his own and, barring injury, will start for the Wallabies in the World Cup.

The injury-depleted Waratahs come into the Blues clash after a 41-7 thrashing of the Brumbies and Waugh, who captained NSW in the 2008 Super Rugby final loss to the Crusaders, believes his side can make plenty of noise in the finals series.

"We're carrying some good momentum after the last couple of weeks," Waugh said.

"It's a big game on Friday night and I know that the guys have put everything into it.

"I think we're in a really good position and space right now to win the next three weeks."

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