Chapman joins Waratahs

 Jan 11,2013
Written by: Editor

The Waratahs have signed former Brumbies, Reds and Australia A utility forward Mitchell Chapman for the 2013 season.

Sydney-born Chapman - who usually plays as a blindside flanker but can also cover the second row and number eight - joins the squad on a one year contract, replacing hooker Damien Fitzpatrick, who has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

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), Waratahs coach Michael Cheika opted against a like for like replacement.

"Mitchell has been brought in to fill a specific profile within our squad," explained Cheika

"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."

The move sees the 29-year-old returning to Australian rugby after the completion of his second season with Japan Top League club NTT Docomo.

He brings with him extensive Super Rugby experience, having made 28 appearances for the Reds and 40 for the Brumbies.

Although still uncapped, 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 is excited about returning to Super Rugby.

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

"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."

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

Tags: Super Rugby |  Waratahs | 

From The Sideline