Lions is key to keeping Wallaby stars

The 2013 Lions tour of Australia will be a key factor in retaining the services of the Wallabies' top players - according to Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey. [more]

Lions is key to keeping Wallaby stars

The 2013 Lions tour of Australia will be a key factor in retaining the services of the Wallabies’ top players – according to Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey.

The Lions visit Australia once every 12 years, so to play against the famous tourists really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Following Australia's 1999 World Cup success, Rod Macqueen was able to hold on to the bulk of his squad to face the Lions in 2001. And they went on to clinch a first ever Series win over the men from Britain and Ireland.

Current Wallabies Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore and Adam Ashley-Cooper have all pointed to the lure of playing against the Lions after signing new contracts with the Australian Rugby Union.

Now Hickey is hopeful a host of his Waratah stars will follow suit.

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Tatafu Polota-Nau, Kurtley Beale, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh and Al Baxter are all currently in contract talks and Hickey is confident they will re-sign in a bid to face the Lions.

"Players don't make decisions purely about money," said Hickey.

"If they did, then perhaps we may not be in a position to retain them. But I expect they will also consider what they want to achieve out of their careers.

"Opportunities and friendship will be a factor as well.

"You've just got to take time with players because they are negotiating their careers and futures, and sometimes you've got to be patient."
 

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