Super Rugby: Nick Phipps quits Melbourne

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Australia scrum-half Nick Phipps is to leave the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise and return to Sydney to join the New South Wales Waratahs on a two-year contract next season, both sides announced yesterday.

Phipps, 24, is originally from Sydney but moved south to the Rebels when they began playing in the Super Rugby competition in 2011.

“Nick has played a major part in laying the foundations of this club and it is disappointing to see him leave,” Rebels coach Damien Hill said in a statement.

“We have identified and developed some great talent within Australian rugby, who are now coming off contract and the reality is, these players now attract interests from other clubs with different financial circumstances.”

Phipps made his Test debut against Samoa in 2011 and has since earned 12 caps, including starting in eight of the Wallabies’ last nine games when scrum-half Will Genia was sidelined with a knee injury.

“Nick is a good, threatening, attacking player,” Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said.

“He’s good all round, in attack, in defence and with his kicking game: he’s a quality player and I think that he’s still got a lot of potential to fulfil.”