Jack Dempsey has reaffirmed his commitment to the NSW Waratahs, with the backrower signing a one-year deal to remain at Daceyville for the 2021 Super Rugby.
The 26-year-old, fresh off the back of a Grand Final victory in the Shute Shield with Gordon, will further extend his career in sky blue.
The loose forward has notched 43 appearances for his home state since his debut against the Sharks in 2015, following a decorated career as a schoolboy and junior.
The early part of his professional career has been punctuated by injury – but despite the frustrating setbacks – Dempsey has proven his abilities as a match-winner when fully fit and available.
Dempsey made his Wallabies debut in 2017 and would eventually be named as part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad – earning 10 caps for his country to date.
NSWRU General Manager of Rugby, Tim Rapp said that Dempsey’s experience would prove important over the 2021 campaign.
“There’s a lot be excited about in terms of the young players coming through our system, but they need to play alongside seasoned professionals to grow and develop,” Rapp said.
“Jack’s been here for several years and has experience at international level, he’s a got an important role to play in sharing that knowledge with the next generation and acting as a leader within the group.
“He’s had a number of setbacks in terms of injury and we’ve seen the way he’s applied himself to his rehab – it speaks volumes about his professionalism and commitment to being his best.
“Given the nature of the rugby landscape at the moment, Jack’s re-signed for one year but you’re always keen to keep players of his quality and we’ll keep an open dialogue throughout 2021 once we have more clarity around the competition.”
NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Rob Penney was pleased to welcome Dempsey back to Daceyville next season.
“Jacks been fantastic for us throughout Super Rugby and the most pleasing thing is he’s kept himself fit and on the park for an extended period,” Penney said.
“People don’t see the amount of work he puts into his body – arriving early, doing extras – all the things a good pro needs to do when they’ve had a rough trot of injuries.
“At his best he’s a devastating on and off the ball and we’re keen to see him bring that to our backrow again next season – leading the way alongside an exciting crop of young guys.
“He’ll be an important figure for us and I’m glad he’s back for next season.”
Dempsey said that while COVID-19 had presented its challenges to the sport, he was happy to remain a Waratah for another season.
“When you grow up playing rugby in Sydney, the Waratahs are the pinnacle,” Dempsey said.
“It’s what you dream of doing and I’ve been privileged to wear this jersey and play alongside some great people over the last five years.
“This year hasn’t been without its challenges but I’m excited to be a part of this group again next season.
“The progression we’ve made has been evident throughout Super Rugby AU and we’re only going to improve with more time together and I’m looking forward to playing a role in that.”