Vickerman back to boost Wallabies
August 13, 2010
Dan Vickerman lifts the Varsity Match trophy as Cambridge captain © Getty Images
The forgotten man of Australian rugby, Dan Vickerman, will return to the Waratahs next season in a major boost for the Wallabies' second-row ahead of the World Cup.
Vickerman, capped 54 times and having represented Australia at the past two World Cups, left Australian shores in 2008 to study and play at Cambridge University in England.
Now the world-class lock has signed a three-year deal to play for the Wallabies and the Waratahs starting with next year's new Super 15 competition, giving Robbie Deans some desperately needed quality and depth in the second row ahead of Australia's World Cup campaign.
Deans welcomed Vickerman's return but insisted he wouldn't walk back into the Wallabies team.
"Dan will have to earn his place, as any player does, but his return to Australia is great news for the game and potentially the Wallabies," Deans said. "Regaining a player of his wide ranging experience can only have benefits, especially given that he plays in a position where our depth has been tested in recent times. We have some promising young locks emerging but you can't buy experience and Dan certainly brings that to the table."
Vickerman doesn't regret his decision to step down from the highest level of the game but now had his sights set on the 2011 World Cup.
"It was a big decision to leave Australia in 2008 but I wouldn't change a thing," Vickerman said. "Rugby has given me the opportunity to play and study abroad but next year is the right time to come back.
"I've been in communication with the coaching staff at the Waratahs and the Wallabies for a while now and collectively we're all on the same page in terms of where we want to be at and what we want to accomplish. I know there's a lot of hard work to be done over the next 12 months to push for a place in the World Cup squad but that's what I'm focusing on and that's what I want to achieve."
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