Australian Rugby
Polota-Nau hooked on Wallabies and Tahs
ESPNscrum Staff
March 7, 2011
Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau in relaxed mood, Waratahs training session, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia, February 21, 2011
Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is growing into a leader, says Robbie Deans © Getty Images
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Wallabies and Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has re-signed with club and country until 2013 on the same day he was cleared of serious injury from his side's Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders.

Polota-Nau left the field early as the Waratahs fell to an emotion-charged Crusaders outfit in Nelson but the talented 25-year-old is likely to only miss one game with a minor knee problem following the bye this weekend.

The positive injury diagnosis provided a double boost for club and player after Polota-Nau joined a host of other Wallabies in committing to the ARU beyond this year's World Cup and until after the British and Irish Lions tour down under in two years.

Polota-Nau has predominately played second fiddle to Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore for the Wallabies throughout his career but he has age on his side and seems set to push for a starting spot as he enters the best years of his career.

"I love playing for the Wallabies and hopefully my form will continue to allow me to do that for at least another two years," Polota-Nau said. "Once I knew I was staying in Australia, my preference was always to remain at NSW and thankfully I've been able to do that."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans acknowledged that Polota-Nau was a key signing.

"Tatafu is an x-factor player. He's one of those players who has a massive influence, both on a game, but also on the people he is around," Deans said.

"His promise was always evident. That is highlighted by how much top level rugby he played as a youngster, but sometimes it can take time to fulfil one's potential and 'Taf' probably fell into that category.

"The exciting thing, from a Wallabies perspective is that he is really grabbing the reins now. You only have to look at the impact he has had on the Waratahs start to the new Super Rugby campaign, after winning their Player's Player award last year. Not only is he playing well, he's offering leadership to the rest of the group. That is a sign of the complete package he is becoming.

"He's offered the same with the Wallabies. Even when he couldn't play last year due to the issue around his ankle, he was happy to pitch in and help out as a coach, offering guidance to the younger hookers in the squad, both during the June Tests but then again when he joined us at the end of the Spring Tour."

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