Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson would like to see more players signed up to long-term contracts.NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson wants to see long-term contracts similar to Lance Franklin’s nine-year deal with AFL club Sydney become part of the rugby union landscape.
Rugby has this year moved towards signing players to five-year deals, with players previously rarely being locked up any longer that a four-year World Cup cycle.
Wallabies captain Michael Hooper and Brumbies and Test prop Allan Alaalatoa have signed on until 2023, while n rugby’s biggest drawcard Israel Folau is understood to have inked a new four-year deal.
Both Gibson and NSW Rugby Union CEO Andrew Hore said the Waratahs had completed Folau’s paperwork from their end, and it would be up to Rugby to formally announce any new deal.
Gibson supported a shift to longer term contracts.
“If we’re really certain with a player which we know we want to keep in long-term, I think they are going to become more commonplace,” Gibson said.
“You look at the Buddy Franklin situation, the Swans have signed him for a long time.
“It’s certainly something I’m sure a team will look at when you get a once in a generation player that you want to anchor your team through a decade.”
“Obviously you want to build your team around a really clear spine of key players.
“I’ve been fortunate here at the Waratahs that a number of our key players have been here for a long time and I think it’s important for building long-term success that you have longevity of player service.”
Gibson wasn’t concerned players might lose motivation and form during such a long contact period, pointing to the consistency Folau and Hooper have displayed.
Meanwhile, he said discussions with former Wallabies utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper Cooper returning to the Waratahs for the 2019 season were progressing well.
Gibson identified a winger and a lock-flanker as other areas he wanted to add to, with four spots on their 2019 roster to be filled.
The Waratahs finalised their home venues for 2018 on Wednesday, announcing matches against the Reds, Crusaders and Rebels would be played at the SCG.
NSW will also play three matches at Parramatta’s new Western Sydney Stadium plus one each at Sydney’s Brookvale Oval and Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium.