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Wallabies veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper has signed a one-year deal to return to NSW Waratahs for the upcoming Super Rugby season.

The 34-year-old outside back wants to use the opportunity to push his claims to play for the Wallabies at a fourth World Cup in Japan later in the year.

Based overseas since the last World Cup, Ashley-Cooper has played 117 Tests.

“Adam’s record speaks for itself and you cannot replace the international experience that he brings to the team,” Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said. “He is an incredibly talented player and a highly respected leader, and I have no doubt that the younger players in the team will benefit from having him in our environment.

“His contracting supports our plan around managing our players better in 2019 and further creating depth in our squad. At the same time, I take my hat off to Adam because he has accepted a base contract as his return is about chasing a dream of playing Super Rugby for the NSW Waratahs again and earning a spot in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup squad.”

Ashley-Cooper scored a double in the Waratahs’ Super Rugby final triumph in 2014, making it an easy decision for him to return to Sydney and push for further glory.

“My desire to continue to play top-tier rugby and further my development is as strong as ever,” he said. The NSW Waratahs presented this opportunity to me and I jumped at the chance to reunite with the Sky Blue jersey.

“The challenge I have ahead of me is not being taken lightly. I will put everything into this 2019 NSW Waratahs season to see the team build toward something special. Overall, I’m super excited to get back into the NSW Waratahs organisation again and contribute in every way I can. I’ve had so many amazing memories in the sky blue jersey and looking forward to creating more with this team.”

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