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Sponsor could seal O'Driscoll move to Waratahs

Date

James MacSmith

Waratahs bound? Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll.

Waratahs bound? Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll. Photo: Getty Images

SYDNEY: NSW Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has revealed Brian O'Driscoll's touted move to Sydney could become a reality thanks to the high-powered intervention from a cashed-up sponsor shared by the Super Rugby franchise and the Ireland captain.

O'Driscoll has repeatedly spoken publicly and to his good friend Cheika, who he worked under at Irish provincial side Leinster, about playing in the southern hemisphere competition.

With the Waratahs struggling on the field, and battling for exposure off it, Cheika only has to look across to Moore Park neighbours A-League's Sydney FC to see the impact a world-class international recruit - in their case Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero - can have.

And a possible third-party deal with the help of HSBC, who have sponsored the Waratahs for the past 11 years and count O'Driscoll as an official ambassador, could bring similar benefits to NSW.

"Brian is an ambassador for HSBC and he has an arrangement with them to promote them through rugby," Cheika said.

"He is contracted to them and is doing part of the (British and Irish) Lions preparation with them because they are a sponsor there too. He has a deal with them which includes such things as speaking engagements and writing articles for them, which obviously promote them and the game."

O'Driscoll is off contract in June next year and, while his signing would be a major coup for the Waratahs, Cheika said there was a way to go before it became a reality.

"The top players in the world like Brian would all like to come down and see how they fare down here but you have to remember it is very difficult for Irish players to leave Ireland," Cheika said.

"Because when they retire, they get a big tax back payment. He is obviously one of the highest-paid players in Ireland, so it would be a big decision for him to come here.

"But there is no doubt the thought about coming down here is with a lot of the top players over there. Whether it becomes a reality is something else."

AAP

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
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AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
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WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
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NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
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IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
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CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
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NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
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USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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