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'If you want to play ping pong': Wallaby's classic reaction to Jorgo exit talk

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14th March, 2024
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The NSW Waratahs are playing down concerns about potentially losing another star back to the NRL as the Sydney Roosters eye off teenage boy wonder Max Jorgensen.

Having already enticed dynamic winger Mark Nawaqanitawase to switch codes next season, the Tricolours are reportedly prepared to offer fellow 2023 Wallabies World Cup squad member Jorgensen a massive two-year deal.

Nick Politis has denied tabling Jorgensen a $1.8 million contract, but the Roosters supremo and triple premiership-winning coach Trent Robinson have met with the 19-year-old to express their interest.

Photo: Supplied

The son of former Roosters and Penrith player Peter Jorgensen, the fullback-winger has played only 14 Super Rugby Pacific matches since debuting last year.

He is off contract at the end of 2024 but has spoken of his desire to face the touring British and Irish Lions next year.

A code swap seems more likely in 2026 or after Australia hosts the 2027 World Cup.

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“Honestly, if you want go play ping pong, that’s up to you,” Waratahs prop Angus Bell said of the Jorgensen speculation on Thursday.

“All we can do is sort of just concentrate on what we can do as a team and, if someone makes a decision as a person, you wish them best of luck.

“So, no, it doesn’t really affect the team. It’s just outside noise.

“We’re all here this year. We’re all signed this year and we have 16 rounds to prove that we’re the best.

“So we’ll concentrate on this year.”

Watch every match of Super Rugby Pacific ad-free, live & on demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport

Bell, earmarked as a future Wallabies captain, seemed more concerned about being relegated to the bench for Saturday night’s hosting of the Blues at Allianz Stadium.

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“I always want to start,” he said before declining to offer any reason why he won’t be.

“I’ll let Darren explain that. You can hammer him about that.”

Coach Darren Coleman later shed light on the surprise selection call, saying Bell finishing the game was more important than starting.

“Belly is the premier prop in this club and will be a long-term franchise player for us,” Coleman said.

“He always plays the majority of minutes in our loosehead rotation and that will continue this week.

“The only change will be that it will be the back end of the game and not from the start.

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“This is designed to provide us with an injection of impact as we look to finish the match strongly.”

Jorgensen won’t be playing at all this week after succumbing to a hip injury, with Nawaqanitawase shifting to fullback as cover.

Hard-edge flanker Lachie Swinton also limped out of training on Thursday with an apparent knee issue.

“It’s all good. He’s always tinny,” Bell said of Swinton.

“Swinno’s always good.”

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