Australian ace Chris Latham insists his best rugby years are still ahead of him as he prepares for his new challenge at Worcester Warriors next season.
Latham will join Warriors next season after a decade of dedicated service for Queensland and insists he can hardly wait for a crack at English rugby with the Sixways Stadium club.
And the record-breaking full back – who revealed he has been tracking Warriors progress – is determined to show he has the motivation to perform at the highest level and take Worcester to new heights.
“My family and I are really looking forward to moving to Worcester, I am very excited about playing in the Guinness Premiership for the Warriors,” said Latham.
“I have enjoyed a wonderful decade of rugby with the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies. At this stage of my life and career I feel it the right time for both my family and I to experience new things and to give myself fresh and challenging goals, as I know I am yet to play my best rugby.
“I have tracked the progress of the Warriors and I’m excited by the plans for the club both on and off the field in the coming years and the vision of Chairman Cecil Duckworth and Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock.”
Latham, who has scored 40 tries in 78 appearances for the Wallabies, has also praised the influence of Director of Rugby in him making the switch to Warriors.
“I spoke to Mike on a number of occasions before making this decision and have been hugely impressed by how professional the club is, the style in which he wants his team to play and the way he feels I can have a big impact in that,” he added.
“The Warriors have made a number of key world class signings in Rico Gear, Sam Tuitupou, Greg Rawlinson as well as agreeing deals with emerging young talent like Chris Pennell. It made signing for them even more attractive and I am joining forces with them to drive the club forward and help mentor the younger players.
“As I said at the start, this opportunity at Warriors gives me the chance to set new and challenging goals. A major motivation to play at the highest level still burns and I plan to play a key role in the success of the Warriors side challenging for honours in both English and European competitions.”
CHRIS LATHAM FACTFILE:
Full name: Chris Latham
Born: 8 September 1975 in Narrabi, New South Wales, Australia
Height: 6ft 4in
Position: Full back
QLD Caps: 110
QLD Debut: 1998 vs NSW
QLD Points: 273 (54t, 1p, 1dg)
QLD S12/S14 Caps: 90
QLD S12/S14 Debut: 1998 vs Highlanders
QLD S12/14 Points: 196 (38t, 1p, 1dg)
Australia Caps: 78
Australia Debut: Saturday, November 1998 vs France at Paris
Australia Points: 200 (40 tries)
Australian Under 21s 1996
Australian Barbarians 1997
Australian Sevens 1997, 2006
Southern Hemisphere XV 2005
Australian Wallabies 1998-2007
1998 France & England
1999 World Cup (UK)
2000 Japan, France & UK
2001 UK & Europe
2003 RWC (Aus)
2004 UK & France
2005 UK & France
2006 UK, Ireland & Italy
Member of victorious Australian Rugby World Cup winning squad in 1999.
Scored Australian record of five tries against Namibia in the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
Won the coveted John Eales Medal, Australian Test Rugby’s most prestigious award, in 2006.
Played in every match at RWC 2007, scoring five tries to take his total to 40 tries and 200 points. Second highest try scorer in Australian Test history.
Scored the fastest try in Super 12 history in 2003 with 21 second effort against the Brumbies.
Winner of Super 12 Player of the Year Award on an unprecedented four occasions.
Named vice-captain of Australia in 2006 during Spring Tour.
Shortlisted alongside All Blacks Dan Carter and Richie McCaw in final five in the race to be crowned the world’s finest player in the IRB awards in 2006.