Grey not worried by Waratahs departures

NSW Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey isn’t concerned at the mounting toll of imminent departures from the Super Rugby champions, after winger Peter Betham joined the list.

Two-test Wallaby Betham will join English club Leicester Tigers at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season.

Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper, prop Sekope Kepu, No,8 Wycliff Palu and halfback Brendan McKibbin are other Waratahs heading overseas after this season, while winger Taqele Naiyaravoro has been linked to Scottish team Edinburgh.

Grey didn’t seem fazed by the swelling list of players leaving or have any worries about the mindset of those men.

“It’s not a worry at all,” Grey said on Tuesday.

Peter (Betham) has made that decision for the right reasons.

His performance on the weekend was a performance by someone who was playing good footy and enjoying being in the company that he’s in.

“I’m sure he’s very focused on contributing his absolute most to the Waratahs of 2015.”

Ashley-Cooper, who will join French club Bordeaux-Begles after this year’s World Cup, is clearly cherishing his last season with the Tahs.

“I’m certainly starting to appreciate what I’ve got here,” Ashley-Cooper said.

“The football that I’m given the opportunity to play amongst good company, part of a good organisation and a great competition.”

After missing six weeks with a knee tendon injury, Ashley-Cooper was pleased to play a full game against the Hurricanes last weekend.

“I was certainly questioning my match fitness there at the back end of the second half, but I was happy to get through and that will serve me well leading into this week,” Ashley-Cooper said.

Saturday’s crucial Australian derby against the Rebels will be the Tahs first at ANZ Stadium since their title-winning victory there last year.

“It will be nice to pay a visit back there, we’ve got a lot fond memories now,” Ashley-Cooper said.

“That’s certainly something we can use in how we approach this game and how we get up for this game.

“The atmosphere and the environment we created in the lead-up to last year’s final around the changing rooms and that stadium, in general, was pretty special.

“I think, once we walk back in there, we will certainly all feel it.

“In saying that, the focus will be on the Rebels.”

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