Palu, Mumm stick with Waratahs
March 30, 2011
Wycliff Palu: Remaining a Waratah until 2012 © Getty Images
Following on the heels of their capture of Brumbies star Adam Ashley-Cooper, the Waratahs have been boosted by the news Wycliff Palu and Dean Mumm have re-signed until 2012.
Lock Mumm and No. 8 Palu both extended their deals with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) for a year, becoming the ninth and tenth Wallabies to commit to the ARU this year.
Both forwards are on the fringes of selection for Robbie Deans' Wallabies prior to the Rugby World Cup and both cited the desire to be a part of the improving national team as a key factor in their decisions to stay put.
Palu said: "Like everyone, it [the Rugby World Cup] is a massive goal for this year, but my decision to stay goes beyond that. I'm a bit like all of the other guys who have re-signed recently: I'm really enjoying my rugby, at both state level and with the Wallabies, and want to keep going with it.
"A lot of work has gone in over the last few years to build the Wallabies up, and you can sense that the team is on the up again and that some good times are ahead. It won't be easy but I would like to see where things lead. I'm not alone in feeling that way."
Mumm said: "Obviously I started with the Wallabies at a time where there was a fair bit of change going on with a new coach, new ideas and an influx of new personnel but, while there have been a few bumps in terms of our performance, the consistency is coming.
"We saw that through the performances at the back end of the Tri Nations last year, and then on the spring tour. Those games; and especially the matches against South Africa in Bloemfontein, New Zealand in Hong Kong and France in Paris are great reference points for us heading into this year. They showed what the team is capable of, and also where we might get to if we can keep building on what we have created so far."
The Waratahs will welcome back front-rowers Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota-Nau when they meet the Chiefs in Sydney on Friday. For the Chiefs, Dwayne Sweeney comes in at inside-centre for Tana Umaga while in the forwards, Toby Smith replaces Sona Taumalolo at loosehead prop
In other Super Rugby news, the Melbourne Rebels' injury crisis has deepened with the news winger Cooper Vuna will miss Saturday's trip to Perth to face the Western Force.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside
"He had a death stare so you'd know when you were wrong." George Kruis talks about his mentor Borthwick, fly-fishing and his England aspirations