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Waratahs dismiss O'Driscoll talk as backs coach goes

Dream on ... Irish linchpin Brian O'Driscoll.

Dream on ... Irish linchpin Brian O'Driscoll. Photo: Andrew Gorrie

DO NOT expect to see Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll in the sky blue any time soon.

As the Waratahs announced the departure of a second assistant coach, Scott Bowen, the province was hosing down reports O'Driscoll would be lured to Sydney by Michael Cheika, his former coach at Leinster.

Despite O'Driscoll's publicly voiced interest in an Australian stint, open-ended comments from Cheika and reports of a possible agreement with sponsor HSBC, it is understood the Irish superstar is no realistic chance of playing for NSW any time in the near future.

The Waratahs understand the short-term gains of a signing of that magnitude. The 120-cap Ireland linchpin would deliver the Waratahs coverage of which the Moore Park suits can only dream.

Adding particularly tantalising appeal to an O'Driscoll-Cheika reunion is the presence of a large Irish expatriate community in Sydney. Attendances at games would be boosted overnight.

The 33-year-old is off contract in June and, barring disaster, will travel to Australia with the British and Irish Lions squad next year. Cheika has expressed his regard for the Ireland captain but also his belief that O'Driscoll's ties to his homeland may prove too great.

"The top players in the world like Brian would all like to come down and see how they fare here but you have to remember it is very difficult for Irish players to leave Ireland," he said this week. ''Because when they retire, they get a big tax backpayment. 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.''

In the meantime, the Waratahs say they are serious about breathing life back into the rugby union pathways at home.

And while the market for contractable players has shrunk considerably, the province appears to be walking the talk with the selection of four local talents to compete for the last position in the extended squad.

Shute Shield player of the year Hamish Angus is one, along with Randwick captain and former Rebels five-eighth Toby Browne, Southern Districts and Australia under-20s fullback Ben Volavola and Victorian import Peter Samu, who now plays in the back row for Randwick.

The selections of three backs and the earlier recruitment of halfback Matt Lucas, winger Michael Hodge and outside back Cam Crawford indicate Cheika's and Gaffney's focus on depth in the Waratahs back line.

Departing backs coach Bowen also played a big role in assembling the roster for next year.

Cheika yesterday thanked the former Waratahs five-eighth for his service. Bowen followed out former defence coach Greg Mumm, who left last month.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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