Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Phil Waugh retires from all Rugby at Year's End

NSW Waratahs and Wallabies legend Phil Waugh yesterday announced he'll retire from all rugby at the end of 2011... hoping for a swansong in the World Cup squad for September/October in NZ!!
Phil has been a tenacious openside flanker for club [Sydney University], state and country with a long period of jostling with George Smith for the Wallaby starting role, to the extent various coaches shifted George to number 8 or played them both at 6 and 7 to capitalise on their strengths.
In recent seasons Phil has given way to David Pocock and others but is still a dominant figure at state level. Some argue too dominant as he's see away at least 2 coaches and is in part responsible for some of NSW more boring performances, calling them back to a train track style of play to best suit his on ball abilities in retaining posession... often only to see a dropped pass or poor kick squander the opportunities and make the attack look inept at best!!
It was 'the right time' for Phil to hang up the boots with persistent injury and a few candidates 'in the wings' lining up for his spot [where this hasn't always been the case]!!
Phil Waugh is the kind of experienced hard nut every rugby team needs, combining superb skill with tenacity and unflappability... the perfect foil for a backline like the Tahs, if a little stiffling at times. Rain, mud, cold, altitude or shine, Phil Waugh is a Wallaby hero. As ever Phil's got the timing just right!!
Unless there are some injuries I don't believe Phil will get his wish of a World Cup finish, but if one or two other candidates don't handle the lead up or Tri Nations, we would be well served if he did make it!! I hope Phil gets a baa baas invitation at years end to play against the Wallabies in the UK!! [as the World Champions of Rugby of course!!]

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