Wycliff Palu re-commits to HSBC Waratahs


27/05/2013



By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit

Wycliff Palu has turned his back on off-shore opportunities and re-signed with the HSBC Waratahs for an additional two years.

“I’m happy to get the contract negotiations out of the way, and my playing future sorted,” Palu says.

“Playing for the Wallabies and the HSBC Waratahs has meant a lot to me. Neither were opportunities that I really wanted to give up, but I was also mindful of the fact through the negotiation process that I can’t go on forever.

“I’ve got two children now, so maximizing my opportunities to secure their future and that of myself and my partner was the main priority, but the Australian Rugby Union and the Waratahs were very understanding of that, and we all got the outcome we were looking for.”

Since making his NSW debut back in 2003 and his Super Rugby debut two years later against the Chiefs in 2005, the powerful 30-year-old No. 8 has represented his state on 95 occasions, scoring 12 tries. He is NSW’s ninth most capped player and needs just five more appearances to become just the eighth player (and third loose forward after Phil Waugh and David Lyons) to appear 100 times in the sky blue.

As well as allowing him to continue his quest for a maiden title after appearing in the NSW sides which lost the 2005 and 2008 finals to the Robbie Deans-coached Crusaders, Palu hopes to feature at his third Rugby World Cup when the Qantas Wallabies head to England in 2015.

He is currently just four games away from becoming just the second Australian No. 8 to play 50 Tests after first representing his country against England in 2006, a little over a year after his Super Rugby debut.

Seven years later, he now sits 11 Test appearances behind Australia’s most capped No 8, Toutai Kefu (57), and could surpass the Queenslander this year, with 13 Tests on the Wallabies’ agenda.

“It’s been frustrating at times, and I’ve missed a lot more rugby than I would have liked, but it’s the nature of playing a contact sport I guess,” Palu says.

“That’s why it was important to take the time to weigh up both my financial future as well as where I wanted to be, before signing this contract.

“Being forced to watch so often does make you cherish the time you do get in the jersey that little bit more.”

Schooled at Balgowlah Boys’ High School near Sydney’s northern beaches, Palu has played all of his club rugby with his local Manly Marlins club, whom he turned out for earlier this year as he worked his way back to full fitness.



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