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Super Rugby
Ashley-Cooper commits to Australian rugby
March 22, 2013
The Waratahs' Adam Ashley-Cooper runs the ball at training, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, March 19, 2013
Adam Ashley-Cooper also hopes to play for the Wallabies in a third IRB Rugby World Cup © Getty Images
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Wallabies star Adam Ashley-Cooper has signed a new two-year deal with New South Wales Waratahs to keep him in Australian rugby until at least the end of the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup. Ashley-Cooper said he was tempted by large overseas offers from Japan and Europe but felt it was too soon for him to leave home.

The versatile outside back follows prop Sekope Kepu in re-signing this week, while Melbourne halfback Nick Phipps has also agreed to join the Waratahs in 2014.

Ashley-Cooper said coach Michael Cheika's arrival at the Waratahs had played a major role in convincing him there was a bright future at NSW that he wanted to be a part of. "There's a lot of motivation behind it. I feel like I've only just got here and there's a great culture at the place," Ashley-Cooper said. "I feel that what we're building is really exciting and we've got a lot of potential for the next few years. I'm really enjoying my time here. It would have been really hard to leave."

Ashley-Cooper, turning 29 next week, made 78 Super Rugby appearances for the Brumbies before linking with the Waratahs for the 2012 season. A veteran of two Rugby World Cup tournaments, he has represented his country in 77 Tests since making his international debut within months of debuting at Super Rugby level in 2005.

Ashley-Cooper also has his eyes on a third World Cup, and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans hopes the re-signing would inspire other off-contract players. "It's a good indicator," Deans said. "The players are the most important resource the game has, and they do have other alternatives around contract time."

© AAP
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