Vodacom Super 14

'Canes prop eyes Wallaby spot

2009-04-16 08:00
Eyeing a Wallaby jersey (File)
Wellington - Wellington prop Tim Fairbrother is set to leave New Zealand rugby to have a crack at Wallabies selection.

According to The Dominion Post, the 27-year-old Hurricanes and Lions veteran confirmed on Wednesday that he was weighing up contracts from the Western Force and Europe, and would make a decision on his future soon.

"The Force have pretty much (been chasing me), but I've been approached from Europe as well, so there's some options," Fairbrother said just days after returning from Perth.

"I'm seriously looking at it (the Force). I've been here a long time now and, with all four props playing a role in the team and all playing pretty well, it's just about time for me to look at other things."

Off contract at the end of the year, Fairbrother has been a fixture of Wellington and Hurricanes teams since his provincial debut in 2001. He has 68 Lions caps and 58 Super rugby appearances.

But he believes he has lot more to offer and is young enough and experienced enough to make a bigger impact at the highest level.

"Aussie's definitely a big option for me. Australia appeals more at this stage than Europe. The Super 14 is a good competition.

"I've had eight years of professional rugby and I'm pretty keen to have another four or five at this level.

"I don't want to pack my boots up and head overseas and disappear from view just for the money side of things. I want to have a real crack at things."

If he signed with the Force, Fairbrother said he would make himself available to play for the Wallabies. He is eligible through his mother, Robina, whose parents are Australian.

He admitted it had been frustrating at times over the years. This season he has made three starts for the Hurricanes and two appearances off the reserve bench in competition with Neemia Tialata, John Schwalger and Jacob Ellison.

"When all four of us are playing well it's a great thing for the team, and Coops (Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper) has told us he loves it," Fairbrother said.

"It doesn't matter who he puts in there, we have a good front row. But in terms of the individual, I guess it's where you want to go and what's the best thing for me."

The Upper Hutt prop's career has been marked by incredible loyalty. He has turned down several offers to change provinces over the years.


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