Qantas Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps to stay in Australia

by staff

The Qantas Wallabies halfback has signed a two-year extension with Australian Rugby Union, while also committing to a new deal for 2014-15 with the NSW Waratahs.

Capped 12 times by his country, with nine of the appearances coming last year; Phipps says the lure of attending a second Rugby World Cup in 2015 was too good to turn down.

‘It’s definitely in the back of my mind,” the 24-year-old says of the next World Cup that will be played in England.

“Obviously there is a lot that can happen between now and then but I’m enjoying my Rugby at the moment, and enjoying playing in Australia.”

Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans welcomed the decision, saying Phipps had shown last year he had the ability to claim a regular position on the Test stage.

“Nick had a lot asked of him last year. The way he performed was encouraging, and he will only be better for that experience,” Deans says.

Phipps played the final nine Tests of last year, taking over behind the Australian scrum after injury ruled out Will Genia midway through The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.

He started in all but one of those matches.

A product of Sydney University, and the Australian Sevens development pathway, Phipps first represented his country in the IRB Sevens World Series in 2010.

He also attended that year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, sharing in Australia’s silver medal-winning performance, before completing a massive year gaining selection for the Qantas Wallabies on their Spring Tour.

Although he didn’t play a Test on that tour, featuring only in the mid-week game against Munster; in making the trip, Phipps became the first player to be selected for Australia from the new Melbourne Rebels franchise.

He then made his first Test appearance at the end of the Rebels’ maiden season in 2011, when he was selected to start against Samoa.

Phipps went on to feature in the opening match of that year’s successful Tri Nations campaign against South Africa in Sydney, before appearing against Russia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.