The NSW Waratahs have further strengthened their hooking stocks, re-signing Andrew Tuala for the 2020 Vodafone Super Rugby season.
Tuala joined the NSW Waratahs in 2019 after impressive performances with Randwick, West Harbour and Northern Suburbs in the Shute Shield.
His stints in Sydney club rugby – where Tuala was named West Harbour’s Player of the Year in consecutive seasons – followed a premiership with the Newcastle Wanderers in 2014, along with appearances for the Greater Sydney Rams in the National Rugby Championship (NRC).
A knee injury hampered the start of Tuala’s 2019 NRC season with the Country Eagles, but he did progressively return for the final four games of the campaign.
Tuala travelled between Newcastle and the NSW Waratahs Sydney training base for a number of months in 2019 – illustrating his drive to fulfil his Super Rugby dream.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Rob Penney said the story of Tuala’s commitment to his rugby career was a credit to his character.
“Andrew is another player who has excelled at Shute Shield level and was rewarded last year with Super Rugby debut,” Penney said.
“That connection between Sydney club rugby and the [NSW] Waratahs is so important.
“He’s shown that he’s a character who will take on any challenge to reach his [Super Rugby] goal.
“In speaking with the coaching team it’s clear that Andrew’s made significant progress within a professional program last season, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in 2020.”
After earning his first Super Rugby cap, Tuala was excited to be back in sky blue for 2020.
“To make my debut last year was a dream come true,” Tuala said.
“It’s something I worked really hard to achieve and to tick that box was really satisfying, now the challenge is continuing to improve.
“It was disappointing to get injured [before NRC] but I feel great now and the last few games of the competition were a great platform for [Super Rugby] pre-season. “We’ve got a great group of guys here at the [NSW] Waratahs and it’s an exciting period for everyone as we get ready for 2020.”
Tuala will continue his involvement with Northern Suburbs in the Shute Shield in 2020.