VIDEO: Ashley-Cooper back in blue and ready to rip in
The NSW Waratahs have officially announced the long-suspected return of former club favourite Adam Ashley-Cooper, with the 34-year-old putting pen to paper for the 2019 Super Rugby season.
An integral part of the title-winning 2014 squad, scoring two tries in the grand final victory over the Crusaders, Ashley-Cooper offers plenty of experience and versatility from his rugby journey to a young squad ready to take the next step as title challengers.
Having made his Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies back in 2005, the versatile back took his bow with the Wallabies in the same year, going onto rack up 116 test caps and three World Cups. He moved to the Tahs in 2012, representing his home state 61 times and helping them lift that inaugural Super Rugby title.
He headed overseas in 2016 for a couple of years with Bordeaux in France, and latterly the Kobelco Steelers in Japan. But as he explains in the video below, the chance to come back to the Waratahs and challenge for another title, and try to put himself in the frame for a fourth World Cup with Australia in Japan later this year, was one he grabbed with both hands.
Video courtesy of Waratahs Media
As he prepares to try and guide his side one step further than their semi-final appearance in 2018, Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson feels that bringing in a player with Ashley-Cooper’s pedigree could only have a positive effect on the squad.
“Adam’s record speaks for itself and you cannot replace the international experience that he brings to the team,” he explained. “He is an incredibly talented player and a highly respected leader, and I have no doubt that the younger players in the team will benefit from having him in our environment.
“His contracting supports our plan around managing our players better in 2019 and further creating depth in our squad. At the same time, I take my hat off to Adam because he has accepted a base contract, as his return is about chasing a dream of playing Super Rugby for the NSW Waratahs again, and earning a spot in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad.”
Welcome back ‘Swoop’!