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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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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
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Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
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Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
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ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
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Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
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Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
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Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
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