Connacht have received an enormous boost by securing the services of former Australian international lock, Warwick Waugh in perhaps the biggest signing ever made by the province
Waugh (33) has played 28 times for Australia, including the 1995 World Cup, and will be a huge addition to Connacht as they prepare for the Celtic League and Parker Pen Challenge Cup. Connacht coach Steph Nel said that the signing of the 6’8 Waugh was a major boost. “The average age of our squad is 22 and in order to bring on and develop young talent you need experience around them. Warwick Waugh will provide that and a lot more to Connacht”, he said.
Connacht had been looking for an experienced second row since last season losing former skipper Mark McConnell to injury. Waugh, who comes to Connacht having helped Beziers reach the Heineken Cup at the end of two years in France, has a wonderful career that saw him win 59 caps for NSW Waratahs, 11 caps for ACT Brumbies and 11 caps for Queensland Reds. He helped Queensland reach the Super 12 semi-finals before moving to Bath in the 1999-2000 season, before signing for Beziers.
“I am really looking forward to my time with Connacht. I played for Beziers against them two seasons ago and I am well aware of the amount of progress that the side has made under Steph Nel. I just hope to add my contribution to the side for what promises to be an exciting season”, said the 6’8 Wallaby.
Waugh is set to make his debut for Connacht in their opening pre-season game of the season when they take on Bristol Shoguns at the Galway Sportsground on Wednesday, August 14 (kick-off 6pm). After that they travel to meet Warren Gatland’s Wasps on Sunday, August 18, at Adams Park in High Wycombe, before entertaining Munster at the Sportsground on Thursday, August 22 in their final warm-up match, which will have a 2 pm kick-off. Connacht will open their competitive campaign when they travel to Selkirk to take on new Scottish side Borders in the Celtic League.