‘I didn’t pitch him’: Coach’s blunt message for in-demand centre

Talented NSW centre Mosese Tuipulotu will make the biggest decision of his career from the rehab couch after injuring his knee in his Super Rugby debut on Friday.

Tuipulotu is being chased by the Scotland Rugby Union to follow his older brother’s footsteps and move north on a staggering $225,000-a-year deal, with Scotland coach Gregor Townsend confirming he had put in a call to help woo the 22-year-old.

Waratahs coach Darren Coleman said he expected a decision “pretty soon”, and revealed the simple question he asked the Melbourne-raised back.

“I didn’t pitch to him, I asked him what he wanted to do with his footy,” Coleman said.

“If playing for Scotland and living in Edinburgh or Glasgow is what he wants to do, then he should go for it. I don’t begrudge anyone making decisions for themselves.

“If being a Wallaby and being in a top Super Rugby franchise and really cementing yourself in that is what you want to do, then stay with us.”

Mosese Tuipulotu is weighing up a lucrative offer from a Scottish club. Credit:Getty

Coleman said he was hopeful NSW could retain Tuipulotu, who almost scored with his first touch of the ball in Wellington, but hinted that they were not the only Australian franchise in the hunt.

“Mosese’s well sought after at the moment, both abroad and here. I think all teams now have made their offer to him and he’ll be deciding on his future pretty soon, from what he’s told me,” he said.

“There’s not much you can really pitch. He’s been in our organisation for three years now and for two of those he was long-term injured, so no one’s really got to see the best of him. We’re getting to see snippets of it now, he’s told me he’s an Aussie-raised kid and at this point in time wants to be a Wallaby and a regular Super Rugby player.

“But there’s lots of external factors, his brother’s over there and I’m sure that has a pull. For me personally for where he’s at in his career — he’s only 22 — he’s got another 10-plus years in his professional career if he looks after his body and performs well. For me it would be a shame — if being a Wallaby is his dream — to go.”

Johnny Sexton, the Ireland captain, holds the Six Nations trophy as Ireland celebrate their Grand Slam victory.Credit:Getty

The elder Tuipulotu, Sione, played the latest of his Tests for Scotland in the final Six Nations round at the weekend, starting on the wing alongside fellow Australian and former Wallaby Jack Dempsey at No.8.

The other Australian in the Six Nations, Ireland’s Mack Hansen, enjoyed another win as the Andy Farrell-coached side claimed the Triple Crown, grand slam and Six Nations title with a gutsy win over England on the final day of competition.

Ireland captain Jonny Sexton described the win as a dream, one marred only by controversy over a first-half red card to England fullback Freddie Steward.

It was a controversial call refereed to the letter of the law but lacking, according to critics of referee Jaco Peyper, the appropriate feel for the game and occasion.

“Honestly, I couldn’t make it up. It’s like living in a dream — I’m actually worried I’m going to wake up in the morning,” Sexton said.

“We didn’t play our best, but what a team. What a team. What a group of coaches, they prepared us so well.

“We did nothing that they told us [in the win over England], we did the exact opposite. We made things hard for ourselves but, look, England are a top-class team.

“To come here and get a win on St Patrick’s weekend, it’s unbelievable. What a day. Unbelievable.”

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