Rebel Phipps set to join Waratahs
Australian rugby's halfback merry-go-round is getting into swing with Melbourne Rebels No.9 Nick Phipps set to announce his defection to the NSW Waratahs next week.
It's understood the expected return of Phipps' 2011 World Cup teammate Luke Burgess from France has triggered the Wallabies halfback's switch to the Waratahs for next season.
Phipps is believed to have last week agreed to terms with the Waratahs but the move won't be confirmed until after this weekend's round of Super Rugby matches.
Burgess is seeking an early release from his three-year deal with French club Toulouse and Melbourne is seen as the hot favourite for his services after the Brumbies re-signed Nic White this week.
Officials from both clubs would not comment on Friday but the wheels are in motion for a switch.
The Rebels were castigated by former winger Mark Gerrard on Twitter a month ago for forcing Phipps, 24, out by chasing Burgess.
Gerrard hastily deleted his posts after being told he was misinformed at the time by Melbourne officials.
Burgess, who could be available for this year's Rugby Championship for the Wallabies, played 54 matches in five seasons for the Waratahs before heading overseas after the 2011 World Cup.
His return would see him join Phipps and White in the fight to be Queensland halfback Will Genia's back-up at Test level.
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