The NSW Waratahs have secured the signature of talented fly-half Ben Donaldson for another two years, keeping him in Sky-Blue until 2023./p>
Donaldson, a former Waverley College student, played Australian Schools in 2017 and is a product of the NSW pathways joining the Waratahs Gen Blue Academy straight out of school.
The talented flyhalf made his 1st Grade debut for Randwick in 2018 as a 19-year-old and was part of the Australian U20’s World Cup Silver Medal winning side in Argentina in 2019.
Donaldson made his Super Rugby debut for the NSW Waratahs last year against the Western Force and played in six matches for the Waratahs in their inaugural Super Rugby AU campaign.
Injuries delayed Donaldson’s start to the season in 2021 but the flyhalf showed his class when thrust straight in the starting side against the Western Force in Perth earlier this year.
Donaldson was thrilled at the chance to continue to represent his home state and is predicting a strong showing from the Waratahs in 2022.
“Obviously as a NSW boy, I’ve always wanted to play for the Waratahs, so it was a pretty easy decision in the end,” Donaldson said.
“After getting a crack last year, I feel like I belong here at this level and have loved every minute I’ve gotten the opportunity to wear the Sky-Blue.
“We’re definitely building, and the boys are hungrier and more eager to perform for our state and fans next year. The overall goal is to win a competition but to do that we need to perform each week on the training paddock and the field.”
The Waratahs suffered a horrendous injury toll throughout 2021, with up to 20 players unavailable for selection at one point in the season.
“We had a big injury list this year with a large number of guys who would normally be in the match day 23 unavailable so in a way it feels like they’re almost like new signings for us next year,” Donaldson said.
“So, you mix those guys with some new signings in Hoops, Ned and Jed, plus a guy like Rahboni who joined us late, I’m really confident about the team we’re going to put out on the park next year.”
Waratahs attack coach Chris Whitaker was delighted to keep Donaldson and said his new contract is a great reflection on the talent coming through in the Waratahs pathways.
“He’s calm and composed under pressure and that’s exactly what you want from your fly-half and you could see that this year in his performance against the Western Force in his first game back from injury,” Whitaker said.
“He’s a product of our pathways, he came straight out of school into our academy and we’re really impressed with his development and are looking forward to what he can bring to the Waratahs in 2022 and beyond.”