Phipps agrees Australia extension

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Nick Phipps has agreed a new contract with the Australian Rugby Union and the Waratahs until the end of 2019, opting against a lucrative move to Europe.

Since making his international debut in 2011 Phipps has run out 52 for his country, meaning a move abroad would have left him short of the 60-cap selection rule for players based overseas.

With the scrum-half eager to feature at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, he said staying in Australia was a straightforward decision.

"When it came down to it now wasn't really the time to go," the 28-year-old told rugby.com.au on Wednesday.

"There's so many people that have given me an opportunity and invested a lot of time and done a lot for me and I just felt like I didn't really want to go yet.

"Deep down inside me I feel like there's a little bit more that I can give and though there's always that big opportunity to go overseas and take the pressure off and enjoy your footy and really have a good time over there, I guess thinking about what I'd lose out on here was the main determinant for my decision.

"I've got to be playing some good footy but that 2019 World Cup, it's a major thing that you can have there as a dream and a focus to work through the next three years."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika praised the back's decision and expects him to keep improving as he enters his "prime years".

"Nick's dedication to both New South Wales and Australian Rugby has been outstanding over the last five years. That is why we were so keen for him to stay and play his rugby in Australia," said Cheika.

"He played his 50th cap last year and he's just coming into his prime years as a rugby player so his best is yet to come.

"That's what this decision is about, playing the best rugby of his career in Australia and for Australia."