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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.

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
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
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
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
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
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
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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