The HSBC Waratahs’ second-row stocks have been boosted by the re-signing of rookie lock Kane Douglas, who has penned a new deal keeping him in Sydney until the end of the 2012 season.
Hailing from Yamba, Douglas was brought into the Academy program in 2008 and promoted to the HSBC Junior Waratahs professional squad for the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
However, after some imposing form during this year’s trials, Douglas earned himself a Super 14 debut off the bench in round one against the Queensland Reds, and has gone on to start the last four matches for the Tahs.
Douglas said his decision to stay with the HSBC Waratahs for the next two seasons was based largely on the desire to continue to improve his game under the framework which has brought him to where he is today.
“I’ve got a lot to thank the Waratahs for and hopefully I can pay them back not only this year but over the next couple of seasons as well,” said Douglas, a former NSW Under-17 representative.
“They took a chance on me by inviting me into the program a couple of years ago, and under people like Joe Barakat, Michael Foley and Chris Hickey, I’ve been able to make it to the Super 14.
“I still think I’ve got a lot of learning to do. I know I can still improve a lot further and I know I’ll be able to do that if I stay here.”
The brother of Cronulla Sharks forward Luke Douglas, Kane represented Australia at the Under-20 World Championships in Japan last year and is the latest player to graduate to Super 14 through the HSBC Junior Waratahs program.
In 2008 Rob Horne and Dan Palmer were both selected for the HSBC Waratahs out of the Junior Waratahs framework, as was Damien Fitzpatrick last season.
This year Douglas followed the same path, along with Locky McCaffrey, who was not only part of the recent 26-man squad to South Africa but was named in the team to play the Bulls.
“I said at the start of the season that I’d be stoked if I could play five Super 14 matches this year and I’ve done that already,” said Douglas.
“I think now it’s about trying to maintain my place in the squad week in, week out and make a solid contribution to the team.
“There’s a lot more depth in the second row position than there has been here in the past, so I know if I’m off the pace I’ll find myself out of the team. That’s a good motivation.”
- Position: Lock
- Physical: 201cm, 116kg
- Born: 1 June 1989
- Club: Southern Districts
- State Caps: 5
- State Points 0
- State Debut: 2010 v Queensland Reds
- Super Rugby Caps: 5
- Super Rugby Points 0
- Super Rugby Debut: 2010 v Queensland Reds
- Representative Honours: NSW U17, Australia U20