The 2016 Super Rugby season will be Stephen Moore’s last with the Brumbies following his decision to re-join the Reds.
The current Wallabies captain has played 102 matches for the Brumbies since joining the club in 2009.
CEO Michael Jones says that while the club respects Moore’s choice regarding his future, it is upsetting news for Brumbies fans that 2016 will be the 102-test veteran’s last in Canberra.
“We are exceedingly disappointed about today’s announcement that Stephen Moore will leave the Brumbies at the end of 2016,” Jones said.
“Stephen Larkham and I worked extremely hard to create a deal that was acceptable to Moore and his agent. We were given a deadline and moved heaven and earth to satisfy that deadline including late night calls to South Africa where Moore was holidaying.
“Following those negotiations, a very generous long-term offer was first agreed by his agent and was submitted to Moore late last Thursday. This offer met a number of unique demands including a deadline that was imposed onto us by them.”
Jones said he spoke with Moore at length last week about his playing future.
“After speaking with Stephen personally, he spoke passionately about wanting to remain a Brumby and pleaded with us to come up with an offer to meet his demands and counter offers from Europe.
“He clearly expressed the desire to stay in Canberra, wanted to be a Brumby and to extend his career through to the next Rugby World Cup and ultimately finish his career here.
“The discussions with myself and coaching staff left us in no doubt and with a clear impression that his long-term future would be with the Brumbies if we met the demands we were given. We met every one of those demands. So we were surprised and disappointed to find out he has agreed to join the Reds late last night.
“There is no doubt that Moore has been a fantastic long-term servant of the Brumbies and a great role model for the club and its fans.
“Both on and off the field, he is a leader within Australian Rugby, and his leadership at the RWC was nothing short of exemplary.
“We deal with professional players and their contracts, family and financial needs all the time. We have no issue whatsoever with any player making any decision regarding their careers, that’s their right and prerogative and we are 100 per cent supportive of this.
“However, there is no hiding the fact that we are very disappointed with this outcome. At least there is some consolation that he will be staying in Australia.
Brumbies head coach Stephen Larkham said the side will now start planning for the 2017 Super Rugby without Moore.
“Moore will return to training with the Brumbies on January 4 and will play a key role in our bid for the 2016 Super Rugby title,” Larkham said.
“It’s disappointing that he has chosen to leave, but we now have to begin planning for a suitable replacement.
“We have great depth in the hooker position with Wallaby representative Josh Mann-Rea and the up-and-coming Robbie Abel.
“New recruit Albert Anae can also play hooker and has trained in that position for the Wallabies.
“There is no doubt that Steve he has given a lot for this club and I’m sure that will continue in 2016 before he farewells Brumbies fans.”