Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore will rejoin the Reds for the 2017 Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones said he was very surprised at Moore’s decision to leave after they made him a more than generous long-term offer to remain at the franchise, including meeting a number of his unique contract demands.
‘We are exceedingly disappointed about today's announcement that Stephen Moore will leave the Brumbies at the end of 2016,’ he said. ‘[Coach] Stephen Larkham and I worked extremely hard to create a deal that was acceptable to Moore and his agent. We were given a deadline and moved heaven and earth to satisfy that deadline including late night calls to South Africa where Moore was holidaying.’
Jones added that Moore had previously expressed his desire to stay at the franchise and end his rugby playing career in Canberra. The Wallabies captain has played 102 matches for the Brumbies since moving from the Reds in 2009.
‘After speaking with Stephen personally, he spoke passionately about wanting to remain a Brumby and pleaded with us to come up with an offer to meet his demands and counter-offers from Europe,’ Jones said. ‘He clearly expressed the desire to stay in Canberra, wanting to be a Brumby and to extend his career through to the next World Cup and ultimately finish his career here.’
Moore is set to return to Brumbies training on 4 January. The Canberra-based side get their 2016 Super Rugby season under way with a home fixture against the Hurricanes on 26 February.
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