Nick Phipps to confirm Waratahs move
March 8, 2013
Nick Phipps won his first Test cap while playing for Melbourne Rebels © Getty Images
Melbourne Rebels half-back Nick Phipps is set to announce his defection to New South Wales Waratahs next week, the move triggered by the expected return of Phipps' 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup team-mate Luke Burgess from France.
Phipps is believed to have agreed terms with the Waratahs last week, but the move won't be confirmed until after Super Rugby round four.
Burgess is seeking an early release from his three-year deal with French club Toulouse, and Melbourne are hot favourites for his services after the Brumbies re-signed Nic White this week.
Neither Rebels nor Waratahs officials would comment on Friday, but the wheels are in motion for a switch.
The Rebels were castigated by former winger Mark Gerrard on Twitter a month ago, for forcing Phipps, 24, out by chasing Burgess. Gerrard hastily deleted his posts after being told he was misinformed at the time by Melbourne officials.
Burgess, who could be available for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship, after the series against the British & Irish Lions, played 54 matches in five seasons for the Waratahs before heading overseas after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
His return will see him join Phipps and White in the fight to be Queensland half-back Will Genia's back-up at Test level.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand