Rebels and Waratahs pursue Maddocks swap

Daniel Gilhooly
The NSW Waratahs are discussing a swap to secure unsettled Melbourne Rebels star Jack Maddocks (r)

Elusive Wallabies utility Jack Maddocks could become the NSW Waratahs' fullback in a player swap deal with the Melbourne Rebels ahead of the Super Rugby season.

Management of both teams have confirmed ongoing discussions over 22-year-old Maddocks, who played seven Tests in 2018 but missed selection for last year's World Cup.

The Waratahs have a dearth of experienced outside backs following the sacking of Israel Folau and the likelihood is that Test utility Kurtley Beale will begin the year at five-eighth to replace the departed Bernard Foley.

A host of quality backs in Melbourne and Maddocks' desire to return in Sydney for personal reasons makes the shift a viable one.

AAP understands the Waratahs are open to providing financial compensation but that the Rebels would prefer a player swap.

Agreeing on the identity of the player and landing one willing to shift south have created a sticking point.

Also muddying the waters is Rugby Australia's involvement in the discussions and Maddock's goal to compete in sevens at the Tokyo Olympics, which would probably reduce his Super Rugby availability.

The Rebels are believed to have requested the services of winger Cam Clark or young five-eighth Ben Donaldson

Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson told rugby.com.au that the likelihood of a deal is diminishing as the Super Rugby season start on January 31 nears.

"We were hopeful, if something was to get done, was for it be done before Christmas and the longer it goes, as the old saying goes, time kills all deals. It is becoming very late in the piece for us and the Tahs and for Jack as well," Stephenson said.

The likelihood of a swap deal once the season was under way was slim, Stephenson added.