'Tahs replace a hooker with a lock

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 06:54
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The Waratahs have signed lock Mitchell Chapman from Japanese Top League club NTT Docomo as a replacement for injured hooker Damien Fitzpatrick.

The Waratahs have signed lock Mitchell Chapman from Japanese Top League club NTT Docomo as a replacement for injured hooker Damien Fitzpatrick.

The former Reds and Brumbies tight forward joins coach Michael Cheika's squad on a one-year contract, with Fitzpatrick ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Fitzpatrick’s injury, sustained during the latter stages of rehab from a ACL reconstruction early in 2012 season, is a cruel blow for the promising young hooker, who had been due to return to action next month after a 12-month absence.

Cheika commented: "Unfortunately Damien suffered a setback in his recovery from the original ACL injury that required further intervention.

"Damien will require a specified period of time to ensure that his injury fully recovers.  That will rule him out of most of the coming Super Rugby season but we are planning for him to be back in time to take part in the second half of the Shute Shield season," he added.

With three hookers already at his disposal (Tatafu Polota-Nau and John Ulugia in the main squad and Luke Holmes in the Extended Playing Squad), Cheika opted against a like for like replacement.

He explained: "Mitchell has been brought in to fill a specific profile within our squad.

"I felt we needed a lock who will be able to help share the workload of our two internationals, Kane Douglas and Sita Timani, and offer an experienced partner for our two young locks, Ollie Atkins and Greg Peterson, especially around the set piece.

"I was convinced of this idea when I spoke to Mitch and saw his enthusiasm for another shot at playing Super Rugby. He seems a quality person and I believe he will fit in to our team environment very well," he said.

Chapman made 28 appearances for the Reds and 40 for the Brumbies, and although still uncapped for Australia, he spent five years on the international scene, touring with the Wallabies in 2006 and 2009 and being included among the replacements for the Brisbane Test against Ireland in 2010.

Chapman said: "I've been watching it on TV and the chance to come back and test myself against the best players has been very motivating.

"Specifically with the Waratahs, I know some of the things that Michael Cheika has put in place rugby-wise. Through the grapevine

"I've also heard that it's a positive place to be. Along with how they are looking to play the game, that was something I wanted to be a part of and the main reason for my decision," he added.

Chapman will join the squad following the completion of NTT Docomo's season in early February, in time for the Waratahs' final Super Rugby trial match at home against the Crusaders on Thursday, February 14.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9
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