Chris Latham to move to Worcester

Wallaby fullback Chris Latham will move to English Premiership side Worcester later this year after rejecting an offer to remain in Australia, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said Tuesday.

The ARU said it was disappointed at Latham’s decision to head to Europe on a three-year deal after the 2008 Tri-Nations series but respected it.

”We hoped the offer we put to Chris would keep him in the game here for at least another two seasons, but he will leave with our best wishes for the future,” said Pat Howard, general manager of the ARU’s high-performance unit.

”Chris has been an outstanding contributor to the game in this country for a long time. It is for that reason the ARU has agreed to an early release.”

Latham’s current contract was due to expire at the end of 2008 and the ARU was reluctant to offer the 32-year-old a new deal that would take him through to the next World Cup in 2011.

The 78-Test veteran missed the entire Super 14 season for the Queensland Reds with a knee injury but was one of Australia’s outstanding players in a disappointing World Cup campaign that ended in the quarterfinals.

Latham’s move to Worcester will see him joining former All Blacks winger Rico Gear (29) who recently signed a three-year deal with the English side. – Sapa-AFP

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