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Hickey plays down speculation

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey has dismissed reports linking Wales duo Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel and England's James Haskell with moves the club, but admitted he would like to see Australia captain Rocky Elsom return from next season.

French fly-half Frederic Michalak is another of several international stars linked with a move to Sydney after Kurtley Beale's decision to join the Melbourne Rebels in 2012. However, Hickey, who is yet to reveal his own intentions beyond this season, claimed the Frenchman was not even on the club's radar.

"You hear all sorts of names tossed around during a season and sometimes you've only got to have a look at who their managers are to find out where those rumours emanate from, but we're not pursuing any of those players," Hickey said.

But the coach was more forthcoming when asked if he would be interested in signing Elsom, who is yet to re-sign with the Brumbies and Australian Rugby Union for next season.

"Rocky's a player who I think played 66 Super Rugby games for the Waratahs and he's out of contract at the end of this season," he said.

"So you're always interested in quality players and particularly with the history that he has with the Waratahs. If he was to return it'd be a great acquisition."

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