Waratahs recruit rising WA stars; Deegan confirms move to Rebels

Super Rugby
by Iain Payten

Rising WA prospects Michael McDonald and Carlo Tizzano will join Force fly-half Andrew Deegan heading east next year, with the Junior Wallabies pair set to join the Waratahs.

Deegan confirmed on Tuesday that he would be leaving the Force and joining the Melbourne Rebels from next season, where he will replace the departing Quade Cooper.

Deegan, who moved to Perth after stints with the Waratahs and Connacht, announced on the Force social media channels that he'd made the tough call to step away from a future in Global Rapid Rugby, and play Super Rugby instead.

"It was a very tough decision but just at my age and the point I am in my rugby career, there was a lot of going back and forth with (Force coach) Tim Sampson and (GRR head of rugby) Matt Hodgson," Deegan said.

"I just think unfortunately it has led me to leave the Western Force but I am looking forward to a new endeavour and a new challenge by heading down to the Rebels.

"But obviously I am very thankful for what the Western Force has provided me for these last two seasons and I will be keeping a very close eye on Global Rapid Rugby.

"The Force provided me with a lifeline and I am extremely grateful for that and giving me this opportunity to come back. I have really enjoyed playing with the Western Force, they are a great bunch of fellas over here."

Deegan will be missed at the Force as they look to kick off the Global Rapid Rugby competition next year, and in a further blow, RUGBY.com.au also understands they'll farewell two Future Force Academy products in McDonald and Tizzano.

McDonald, the halfback who steered the Junior Wallabies to the final of the Under 20s World Championship, has been recruited by NSW to fill the gap left by the departed veteran Nick Phipps and will join Jake Gordon in the Waratahs' no.9 roster.

Tizzano, 19, is a highly promising no.7 who is currently starting for the Western Force in the NRC, after emerging through the Future Force Academy and junior Australian pathways teams in the last few years.

After winning the WA club player of the year aged 17, the pugnacious flanker starred for the Australian Schools and Under 18s in their successful tour of Ireland and Scotland last year.

This year Tizzano won a bench spot for the Junior Wallabies in their stellar run, despite fierce competition - and older rivals - in the back row.

Tizzano will fill a gap left by Will Miller, who has gone to the Brumbies, and learn under Wallabies captain Michael Hooper at NSW.

Scrumhalf and captain Michael McDonald in action against Fiji. Photo: Rugby AU Media/Stuart WalmsleyIreland-born McDonald, 20, is due to move across the country shortly and is likely to play for Sydney in the NRC, but Tizzano will see out the NRC season with the Western Force.

Along with Deegan, the Rebels have also reportedly signed two more halfbacks in former Force no.9 Ryan Louwrens from Kinetsu Liners, and Queensland halfback James Tuttle, whose run of injuries saw him overtaken by Tate McDermott and Moses Sorovi at the Reds.

Having already signed impressive Fijian no.9 Frank Lomani, Melbourne club have plenty of options to replace the departed Will Genia and Michael Ruru.