Waratahs resign their Wallabies
September 13, 2001

New South Wales shored up their squad for next season by re-signing three Wallaby squad members and plan to unleash some of their many newcomers in next month's clash with Queensland at Ballymore.

Waratahs manager Dave Gibson said flyhalf Manny Edmonds (pictured), prop Rod Moore and hooker Brendan Cannon, all of whom were this week named in the Australian squad for the coming tour, had each agreed to another two-year contract with the state.

Gibson said he didn't think the recruitment of Huia Edmonds, Manny's younger brother, was a factor in the talented pivot opting to remain.

He said NSW was still deliberating over whether to re-sign forwards Fili Finau and Peter Besseling and back Marc Stcherbina but, those players apart, there were only a couple of other spaces left on the roster.

Gibson said winger Tui Talaia had also re-signed and there were at least a dozen newcomers to the squad which contested this year's Super 12 tournament.

Hooker Huia Edmonds was one of several new forwards along with prop Patricio Noriega, lock Van Humphries and back rowers Simon Kasprowicz, Jone Tawaki, Lei Tomiki and Des Tuiavii.

The list of new backs included utility players Duncan McRae and Shaun Berne, both of whom returned from England, winger Francis Cullimore and fullback Ed Carter plus halfback Paul Sheedy and utility Mat Rogers, both of whom switched from rugby league.

While Rogers becomes a Waratah on October 1, Gibson said the current Shark would not be rushed into the NSW team for the Queensland fixture five days later.

"(NSW coach) Bob (Dwyer) has indicated he won't be playing Mat on October 6 because he wants him to have a good off-season of training procedures and coaching," Gibson said.

Some of the other new boys would play the Reds, but the specific number would depend on how many Wallabies could be called on.

National management will make decisions based on the fitness of four squad members with fullback Matt Burke, who suffered a slight ankle injury in the final Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand, expected to miss the NSW match.

However several other tourists, including starting Wallaby prop Rod Moore, are expected to play.

Gibson suggested flanker Stu Pinkerton, who joined English club Sale, was probably the only departed player NSW would liked to have retained.

"Stu Pinkerton was someone we would have liked to have kept, but in the same breath we're very happy with signing Simon Kasprowicz," Gibson said. "We actually think he might add a little more in attack and defence than what Pinko did."

Pinkerton apart, other Waratahs who joined overseas clubs were halfback Sam Payne, flyhalf Christian Warner, fullback Brendan Williams, prop Cameron Blades, hooker Mark Crick and flanker Keith Gleeson, while centre Paul Dineen and utility back Darren Junee were released.

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