Fitzpatrick re-signs with Waratahs

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs hooker Damien Fitzpatrick has re-signed with the club for 2019.

Fitzpatrick's retention comes after a career-best 2018 season in which the 29-year-old started in 17 of the club's 18 matches on a run to a Super Rugby semi-final.

The rake played his 50th match for NSW this year, a milestone that was a long time coming.

A series of knee injuries had hindered his early career both in Australia and in France but with a run of good fitness Fitzpatrick has made himself one of the Waratahs' key players.

"The decision was an easy one as I want to remain a Waratah," he said.

"I enjoy being part of this group, we have a great squad, a valuable mix of super talent and hard workers. 

“I know how determined the team is to go one step further next year and bring home the Super Rugby title, and I want to play my part in that.

“This year was about delivering on our potential, we did that in patches but we know that we can do even better next year.

"We played some quality attacking rugby this year that I know the fans enjoyed watching."

The competition between Fitzpatrick and Wallabies hooker Tolu Lau has been fierce in 2018 and Waratahs forwards coach Simon Cron that was vital for the team's progress.

“Fitzy is a great asset to the team in terms of leadership and experience," he said.

"He has shown his importance to our squad in consistently performing week in week out and I’m looking forward to seeing him take another step-up next year.”

“Having ‘Fitzy’ and Tolu (Latu) push each other is really important to the make-up of the squad.

"We want that kind of competition in every position and then combine that with JP Sauni who will also be wanting to apply pressure and take his opportunities when they come.

“They all get on well and will help each other to get better and it’s enjoyable to watch them want to do well for each other.”

Fitzpatrick will also captain the NRC's Sydney Rays this season, with the competition kicking off this weekend.