ARU set to offer new deal to Latham - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

ARU set to offer new deal to Latham

23/10/2007 07:31:49 PM Comments (0)

Crunch time is looming for Wallabies fullback Chris Latham after the Australian Rugby Union revealed it would table a new deal on Thursday.

Latham is facing the biggest decision of his glittering career after being courted by cashed-up European clubs.

Pressure is on the ARU to come up with a lucrative package and extend Latham's contract beyond 2008 after the Australian No.15 was linked to Northern Irish province Ulster and British club Bristol.

"We can't match them dollar for dollar but we will do our best," ARU high performance manager Pat Howard told Seven Network.

"Obviously he is a very established Wallaby and we want to make the decision as hard as possible."

Queensland Rugby Union chairman Peter Lewis was still hopeful that Latham would remain with the rebuilding Reds after completing his 11th season in 2008.

Queensland had a disastrous 2007 Super 14 campaign, finishing with the wooden spoon for the first time after notching just two wins.

The Reds weren't helped by a knee injury to Latham which ruled him out of the 2007 Super 14 season.

"Chris is our No.1 player. He missed the entire Reds season and I am sure he is champing at the bit to get back out there and do something for the Reds," Lewis told AAP.

"We would be delighted if he stayed.

"He is the heart and soul of Queensland rugby.

"But he's very much his own man. He will decide his own future but we certainly hope Queensland is in the mix."

Latham gave his strongest hint yet that he would remain in Queensland.

"I dearly love playing for the Reds and the Wallabies and to give that away will be a very difficult decision," he told Seven Network.

"I always wanted to try and leave Queensland rugby the way it was if not in a better state and we are certainly not there yet."

There was speculation that under early-release provisions afforded to long-serving Wallabies, Latham had the option of winding up his career in Australia after next season's Super 14 competition.

But the ARU has confirmed Latham is contracted until the end of the 2008 Tri-Nations campaign.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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