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‘Was really devastating’: Why Max Jorgensen re-signed with Australian rugby

Max Jorgensen of the Waratahs looks on ahead of the round 14 Super Rugby Pacific match between Crusaders and NSW Waratahs at Orangetheory Stadium, on May 27, 2023, in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)

Max Jorgensen has revealed how the despair of being ruled out of last year’s Rugby World Cup was “100 per cent” a major driver in his decision to recommit to the NSW Waratahs.


In a coup for Australian rugby, the 19-year-old sensation turned down overtures from the Sydney Roosters to switch codes to the NRL and will remain in the 15-man game until at least the end of 2026.

Waratahs coach Darren Coleman said Jorgensen staying put is also a huge psychological boost for the Waratahs ahead of Friday night’s crucial clash with the Melbourne Rebels in Sydney.

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The teenager is making no secret of the fact he has unfinished business after being sent home from France in September without playing a game after breaking a leg at training.

“I want to put on that gold jersey for the first time,” he said on Thursday.

“To not put it on there, it was really devastating.

“Injuries happen, it is what it is, but that’s what I aspire to do … put on that gold jersey.”

Jorgensen’s run with injuries has continued into 2024, with a hip complaint sidelining the dynamic fullback during the early stages of the Waratahs’ Super Rugby Pacific campaign.

The Tahs enter their clash with the Rebels riding a three-game losing streak, following a series of narrow defeats to the Highlanders, Blues and Fijian Drua.



But coach Coleman says Jorgensen’s re-signing has given the group a morale boost.

“A good cheer came up. Maxi broke the internet last night when it was all announced,” Coleman said.

“Everyone’s just stoked he’s going to be around.”

Coleman denied his side has reached the “must-win” stage just five matches into the 15-round competition.

“It’s a ‘must win’ because you want to get some reward for your toil. It’s not must win on the ladder, as far as making the eight,” he said.

“We were in the exact same position last year. We got a run of four wins in a row.


“So we’re not feeling the stress of that aspect.”

The 10th-placed Tahs are only three points behind the financially endangered Rebels in seventh, with Coleman expecting the Melbourne outfit to come out firing at Allianz Stadium.

“I know Taniela (Tupou) has been copping a bit of grief around his performance. But when he decides to flick the switch, it’s hard to handle,” Coleman said of the Rebels prop.

“They’re a powerful team. There’s no doubt where they’re coming at us, that it’ll be down the middle with a load of big ball carriers.

“We understand it’s going be a really tough challenge.

“That’s the thing about Super Rugby – there’s no gimmes. Every week, if you’re not on, you don’t win.

“We’ve had some OK performances the last few weeks and haven’t been able to pull off the victory.

“But we’re confident if we’re a little more accurate in the attacking 22, we’ll get the rewards for our toil of the last few weeks.”


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