The NSW Waratahs have secured the signature of experienced hooker, Damien Fitzpatrick for the Super Rugby 2020 season.
Entering his ninth season as a NSW Waratah, Fitzpatrick will again be in the engine room of the forward pack.
Making his debut mid-way through the 2009 season, Fitzpatrick earnt 22 caps for New South Wales before heading to Lyon for three seasons in 2013 – helping the French outfit gain promotion to the Premier Division.
Fitzpatrick returned on a two-year contract in late-2016 and will again extend his time at Daceyville after a stellar 2019 Super Rugby campaign.
NSRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp said that Fitzpatrick was an important inclusion to the Super Rugby squad for next season.
“Fitzy has been a really consistent performer for us and his leadership around the group is something I know our coaching staff value highly,” Rapp said.
“Throughout his career he’s faced significant challenges and through his hard work, commitment and perseverance has overcome those to become a very accomplished player.
“Early in his career Fitzy had the opportunity to learn from the likes of Adam Freier and Tatafu [Polota-Nau] and also gained great experience from his time overseas.
“We’ve reaped the benefits of that over the last three seasons and I’m glad to have him on board for 2020.”
Fitzpatrick said that the decision to re-sign was an easy one.
“Playing for the Waratahs is what I truly love doing, so any opportunity to continuing to do what you love and are passionate about is something I’m grateful for,” Fitzpatrick said.
“2020 brings a new challenge, one I’m looking forward to contributing to with a new group of players. There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and then, but I’m privileged to be a part of the Waratahs for another Super Rugby season.
“The unknown is exciting. A new look squad under a new coach can bring endless possibilities and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead for the Waratahs.”
Fitzpatrick will not take part in the National Rugby Championship in 2019 as he takes up a short-term playing contract overseas, returning for Super Rugby pre-season in December.
Fitzpatrick also serves as the Rugby Union Players Association President, a role he will continue in 2020.