Stephen Moore ignored Europe to preserve Wallabies career
ESPN Staff
December 26, 2015
Stephen Moore chats to referee Nigel Owens during the defeat to New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup.
Stephen Moore take captaincy duties very seriously.© Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

Stephen Moore rejected thoughts of playing in Europe because "it would have been hard for me to play overseas and Australia".

The Brumbies and Wallabies captain stunned Australian rugby when he announced before Christmas that he was heading home to Brisbane, saying in a statement that he had decided to return to Queensland to be closer to family and "the timing was right after what will be our eighth year in Canberra".

But he decided to head home for a "new challenge" rather than to Europe, where Irish Guinness PRO12 province Munster were believed to be keen to secure his signature, because he feared a move overseas would have ended his Wallabies career even though he remains eligible under the policy to select players outside Australia who have played more than 60 Tests in seven years of service.

Moore, who won his 102nd Test cap when he captained the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand, told Fairfax Media that he had decided to remain in Australia after Test coach Michael Cheika had indicated he wanted the hooker in Super Rugby.

"Playing under Cheik has been one of the greatest experiences of my career, and with the great group of guys," Moore told Fairfax Media.

"I wasn't keen to pass that up. It would have been hard for me to play overseas and Australia. If I went overseas I probably wouldn't have played for the Wallabies. That's something I wasn't keen to do yet."

Moore, meanwhile, has spoken of his desire to retain the Brumbies captaincy in his final year with the Canberra-based Super Rugby franchise before taking up a three-year contract with Queensland Reds.

"It means a lot to me and it's a big honour to captain the side," Moore told Fairfax Media.

"I enjoyed it this year, but it's not my decision," Moore said.

Moore said the Brumbies were his only Super Rugby focus for 2016, and he would be "doing all I can this year to make sure we have a good season before I move on to the next challenge".

"I'm going [to the Reds] for something different, a new challenge ... I don't want to reflect on things because I've got a season ahead of me in Canberra. It's not uncommon for this stuff to happen, I just don't want it to affect our season. That's why I wanted to speak now, to make sure when we arrive back in January [for training] it's all done and dusted and we can move on."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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