HSBC Waratahs re-sign front row trio


By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit

The HSBC Waratahs have strengthened their front row stocks until 2013 with Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick and John Ulugia all signing on for two more Super Rugby seasons.

Head coach Chris Hickey said the trio of signatures would further cement the HSBC Waratahs’ position as one of the dominant forward packs in the competition.
“There’s no secret that one of the strengths here is the tight five and in the front row in particular we’ve had fantastic depth,” said Hickey. “All of the front rowers work together extremely well, they do a lot of off-field work and analysis with each other and are always helping to improve the front row as a unit.”
Hickey said that there was a deep desire for the front row to keep on improving as they have for the past few years, particularly under the tutelage of assistant coach Michael Foley.
“As a group the front rowers in the squad are never satisfied,” said Hickey. “They’re always looking at ways to improve, and their performances have shown that they are.
“Sekope Kepu had his first real off-season this year and his performances have been first rate. He’s definitely one of the in-form props in Australian Rugby at the moment and it’s great that he’s going to be back on board for two more years.
“Damien Fitzpatrick is still very young for a Super Rugby hooker but his game continues to develop. He’s had the last month out with a knee injury but hopefully he’ll be back for the South African tour.
“John Ulugia joined the extended squad in November as the third hooker option and he’s stepped up to the mark every time he’s been called upon.
“His 80 minutes against the Force where he scored the match-winning try made a lot of people sit up and take notice and I know he’s taken a lot of confidence from the performance.
“John also has the ability to play at prop which adds some more cover to the front row and we’ve seen this year that you definitely need that.”
Sekope Kepu
Position: Prop
Born: 05.02.86, Sydney NSW
Physical: 188cm, 120kg
Club: Randwick
School: Wesley College, Pukekohe NZL
Junior Club: Tamaki
State Caps: 31
State Points: 0
State Debut: 2008 v Highlanders
Super Rugby Caps: 31
Super Rugby Points: 0
Super Rugby Debut: 2008 v Highlanders
Test Caps: 3
Test Points: 0
Test Debut: 2008 v Italy

Damien Fitzpatrick
Position: Hooker
Born: 08.06.89, Sydney NSW
Physical: 183cm, 106kg
Club: Eastwood
School: St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill NSW
Junior Club: Mosman
State Caps: 20
State Points: 5 [1t]
State Debut: 2009 v Crusaders
Super Rugby Caps: 20
Super Rugby Points: 5 [1t]
Super Rugby Debut: 2009 v Crusaders
Test Caps: 0

John Ulugia
Position: Hooker/Prop
Born: 17.10.86, Auckland NZL
Physical: 180cm, 113kg
Club: Southern Districts
School: Noble Park Secondary College VIC
Junior Club: Moorabbin
State Caps: 21 [Brumbies 14, HSBC Waratahs 7]
State Points: 5 [HSBC Waratahs 5 (1t)]
State Debut: 2006 v Cheetahs [Brumbies]
Super Rugby Caps: 19 [Brumbies 12, HSBC Waratahs 7]
Super Rugby Points: 5 [HSBC Waratahs 5 (1t)]
Super Rugby Debut: 2006 v Cheetahs [Brumbies]
Test Caps: 0






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