Waratahs will not bid for Luke Burgess
February 7, 2013
Luke Burgess wants an early release from Toulouse to return home for family reasons. © Getty Images
The Waratahs will not bid to sign Luke Burgess after the former Wallabies scrum-half sought an early release from French club Toulouse.
Burgess joined the French powerhouse on a three-year deal after the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but he wants to return home for family reasons.
The 28-year-old, who became a father in November, could be playing Super Rugby as early as May, when the French season ends.
Toulouse have indicated they will release the former Brumbies and Waratahs halfback at the end of their 2012-2013 campaign provided they can secure a suitable replacement.
Burgess has already been linked with the Rebels, for whom he played in the now defunct Australian Rugby Championship in 2007, while the Brumbies are also reportedly interested.
The Waratahs have a spot available following the departure of Sam Lane, but Michael Cheika, the New South Wales coach, says he has no plans to lure the 37-Test veteran back to the club.
"As an organisation we have I think over 20 players coming off contract this year, and so our biggest focus right now is on retention," Cheika told Sportal on Thursday.
"We're very happy with our squad and our No. 1 focus is around retention.
"Often recruitment issues come around timing and I'll have to see how we're placed."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.