Waratahs consider using international players in 2009


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The HSBC Waratahs could feature international players as early as next season after the Australian Rugby Union announced today that the ARU Board will be asked next month to endorse the use of overseas players in the Super 14.

The NSW Rugby Union is backing the ARU’s move with Waratahs Head Coach Chris Hickey confident the process will be handled correctly.

“The ARU is developing checks and balances to ensure we’re not taking positions away from Australian players, rather using the system as a way to further progress the development of our elite up-and-coming players,” said Hickey.

“That’s what the ARU and NSWRU will be looking to ensure, that there is a succession plan, not just to bring marquee players in at the expense of local players and young players.”

Previously, only players eligible to represent the Wallabies could be contracted to Australian Super 14 sides, however in an effort to further increase the standard of the competition, the ARU is looking to relax that rule from as early as 2009.

“It will help teams in terms of particular positions they are targeting where there might be a bit of lack of depth or weakness, that they can bring a player in for a season or two while they develop another young player who’s going to be ready to step up.”

Hickey confirmed the HSBC Waratahs have roster places available for the 2009 season.

“It certainly opens up the opportunity for us to explore a couple of positions we need to fill for next year.”



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