Waratahs bid farewell to 4 players
Tighthead prop Ryan played his last game for the Waratahs in the finals series match against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
The 29-year-old Ryan played his 106th Super Rugby game and 109th match for NSW to end a stellar Super Rugby career that started in 2011 and include a Championship winning title in 2014.
Ryan has been a stalwart of NSW Rugby since making his debut coming off the bench against the Chiefs. Since then, he joined the special centurions club of players who have played 100 games or more for the State.
His performances were also recognised at national level and he ended up playing three international matches for the Wallabies.
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“In Paddy Ryan we have a player who has been part of our set up for over a century of games, and that speaks volumes for his endurance and commitment to the State,” said NSW Rugby and NSW Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore.
“Paddy is very passionate about the game but also how he can make a difference off the rugby pitch as well, and that’s why he has been an important mentor and ambassador for Batyr.”
Also farewelled is Naiyaravoro, the left wing who has set Super Rugby alight this year with his record-breaking try-scoring feat. Naiyaravoro will join Northampton Saints.
The humble Fijian-born wrecking ball first put on the Waratahs jumper in 2014 when he replaced Adam Ashley-Cooper in the match against the Lions of South Africa. Since then he has played 52 matches for NSW Rugby and 50 Super Rugby games for the State team, including Saturday’s finals series encounter in Johannesburg.
“There’s not a helluva lot more I can say about Big T. He has rewritten his own rugby story of grit, determination and a drive to succeed, and we have seen that this year. His journey is well documented and I salute him for the hard yakka he has done to farewell New South Wales on a record-breaking note,” Hore said.
Also departing NSW are Andrew Kellaway and Irae Simone. Kellaway joined the Waratahs in 2016 and made his debut against the Rebels that year. He has gone on to represent the State in 22 games while Simone has been part of the Waratahs set up since 2017 and played 10 games.
“You never want to farewell any player because they all have, in their own way, contributed to the performance of team. In spite of setbacks, either through injury or form, Andrew and Irae have always been team players, supporting their mates on the training paddock or delivering for their club sides in Shute Shield. We wish them the very best as they embark on the next chapter of their careers,” Hore said.
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