NSW Waratahs announce squad for 2014 and target top two finish


Summary

Tolu Latu barges over for a try in Sydney University’s victory over Eastwood in the Sydney club rugby grand final. Photo: www.seiserphotography南京夜网NSW coach Michael Cheika is targeting the top two in Super Rugby for the Waratahs next season and thinks a forklift driver from Flemington Markets can help get them there.
Nanjing Night Net

Sydney University hooker Tolu Latu, who has worked the graveyard shift at Flemington to support his family for the past 18 months, was unveiled as the newest member of the Waratahs squad for next year.

Latu, a 2012 Australian under 20s representative, fills a yawning gap behind Waratahs’ regular starting hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau after John Ulugia and Damien Fitzpatrick left the franchise.

Cheika said he believed Lotu would give his 44-Test teammate a run for his money.

“I’d say [Polota-Nau] will have his hands full to be honest, he’s going to have a competitor right on his tail from day one,” he said.

“He’s shown right from day one in the time he’s spent with us already this season … and also on the tour and in his club rugby, that he can be a very dominant player when he puts his mind to it.”

Latu joins back rower Tala Gray, former Australia A back Matt Carraro and South African second rower Jacques Potgieter as new faces in the squad announced on Friday.

Centre Jono Lance will also join the Waratahs from the Reds, along with Wallabies Nick Phipps and Kurtley Beale from the Rebels.

Cheika said he was pleased with the foundations the team laid last year but would require a huge step up next season.

“I think that like all the teams we need to be targeting the top two, because it’s pretty clear that you need to finish top two if you want to envisage winning the thing,” he said.

“Realistically, [in 2012] the Sharks did it from outside that [top two] and the Brumbies were able to do it this year, they travelled over there [to South Africa and New Zealand]. All of them came up short in the end. Obviously that more ambitious approach from us has to be there.”

Defence and finishing scoring opportunities are the main areas Cheika wants the squad to improve on, he said.

“We were okay, we were competent, but I think we can put a bit more sting in to our tail,” Cheika said.

“I’ve always loved the more rugged part of the game and [we want] to become a bit of a benchmark in the contact part of the game, get more into the physical nature of the game, because that will allow us to play running footy.”

The Waratahs finished ninth on the ladder this year in their first season under Cheika, who replaced Michael Foley last year.

They finished with eight wins and eight losses with mental steeliness and belief proving stumbling blocks for a team crammed with big names and bright young things.

The pressure will be on next year, from their supporters at the very least. Cheika said he believed his players were up to the challenge.

This isn’t saying ‘this is where we’re going to finish’, it’s saying ‘this is where we want to finish’,” he said.

“I’m still not convinced about this whole pressure thing. If you’re not playing the game to win it, why else are you playing? That’s my attitude around things.

“The reality is we’ve never won [a Super Rugby title] and for our supporters and for our organisation and province, we have to target going out there to become the top two teams because if we can finish top two then we’re a chance of winning it.

“We’re going to have a few bad moments or low moments and some hard times, but that’s what we’ve got to do.”NSW Waratahs 2014 squad

Forwards (senior club, age)Mitchell Chapman (Eastern Suburbs, 30)Dave Dennis (Sydney University, 27)Kane Douglas (Southern Districts, 24)Tala Gray (Eastern Suburbs, 23)*Jed Holloway (Southern Districts, 20)Michael Hooper (Manly, 21)Sekope Kepu (Randwick, 27)Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University, 26)Tolu Latu (Sydney University, 20)*Wycliff Palu (Manly, 31)Tatafu Polota Nau (Parramatta, 28)Jacques Potgieter (27)*Benn Robinson (Eastwood, 29)Paddy Ryan (Sydney University, 25)Will Skelton (Sydney University, 21)Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University, 27) BacksAdam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs, 29)Matt Carraro (29)*Kurtley Beale (24)*Peter Betham (Sydney University, 24)Cam Crawford (Northern Suburbs, 24)Bernard Foley (Sydney University, 24)Israel Folau (Sydney University, 24)Michael Hodge (Sydney University, 24)Rob Horne (Southern Districts, 24)Jono Lance (23)*Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs, 28)Nick Phipps (Sydney University, 24)Ben Volavola (Southern Districts, 22) *New Arrivals (former club)Kurtley Beale (Rebels)Matt Carraro (Montpellier, France)Tala Gray (Biarritz, France)Nick Phipps (Rebels)Jacques Potgieter (Bulls)Jono Lance (Reds)Tolu Latu (Sydney University)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


Tolu Latu barges over for a try in Sydney University’s victory over Eastwood in the Sydney club rugby grand final. Photo: www.seiserphotography南京夜网NSW coach Michael Cheika is targeting the top two in Super Rugby for the Waratahs next season and thinks a forklift driver from Flemington Markets can help get them there.
Nanjing Night Net

Sydney University hooker Tolu Latu, who has worked the graveyard shift at Flemington to support his family for the past 18 months, was unveiled as the newest member of the Waratahs squad for next year.

Latu, a 2012 Australian under 20s representative, fills a yawning gap behind Waratahs’ regular starting hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau after John Ulugia and Damien Fitzpatrick left the franchise.

Cheika said he believed Lotu would give his 44-Test teammate a run for his money.

“I’d say [Polota-Nau] will have his hands full to be honest, he’s going to have a competitor right on his tail from day one,” he said.

“He’s shown right from day one in the time he’s spent with us already this season … and also on the tour and in his club rugby, that he can be a very dominant player when he puts his mind to it.”

Latu joins back rower Tala Gray, former Australia A back Matt Carraro and South African second rower Jacques Potgieter as new faces in the squad announced on Friday.

Centre Jono Lance will also join the Waratahs from the Reds, along with Wallabies Nick Phipps and Kurtley Beale from the Rebels.

Cheika said he was pleased with the foundations the team laid last year but would require a huge step up next season.

“I think that like all the teams we need to be targeting the top two, because it’s pretty clear that you need to finish top two if you want to envisage winning the thing,” he said.

“Realistically, [in 2012] the Sharks did it from outside that [top two] and the Brumbies were able to do it this year, they travelled over there [to South Africa and New Zealand]. All of them came up short in the end. Obviously that more ambitious approach from us has to be there.”

Defence and finishing scoring opportunities are the main areas Cheika wants the squad to improve on, he said.

“We were okay, we were competent, but I think we can put a bit more sting in to our tail,” Cheika said.

“I’ve always loved the more rugged part of the game and [we want] to become a bit of a benchmark in the contact part of the game, get more into the physical nature of the game, because that will allow us to play running footy.”

The Waratahs finished ninth on the ladder this year in their first season under Cheika, who replaced Michael Foley last year.

They finished with eight wins and eight losses with mental steeliness and belief proving stumbling blocks for a team crammed with big names and bright young things.

The pressure will be on next year, from their supporters at the very least. Cheika said he believed his players were up to the challenge.

This isn’t saying ‘this is where we’re going to finish’, it’s saying ‘this is where we want to finish’,” he said.

“I’m still not convinced about this whole pressure thing. If you’re not playing the game to win it, why else are you playing? That’s my attitude around things.

“The reality is we’ve never won [a Super Rugby title] and for our supporters and for our organisation and province, we have to target going out there to become the top two teams because if we can finish top two then we’re a chance of winning it.

“We’re going to have a few bad moments or low moments and some hard times, but that’s what we’ve got to do.”NSW Waratahs 2014 squad

Forwards (senior club, age)Mitchell Chapman (Eastern Suburbs, 30)Dave Dennis (Sydney University, 27)Kane Douglas (Southern Districts, 24)Tala Gray (Eastern Suburbs, 23)*Jed Holloway (Southern Districts, 20)Michael Hooper (Manly, 21)Sekope Kepu (Randwick, 27)Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University, 26)Tolu Latu (Sydney University, 20)*Wycliff Palu (Manly, 31)Tatafu Polota Nau (Parramatta, 28)Jacques Potgieter (27)*Benn Robinson (Eastwood, 29)Paddy Ryan (Sydney University, 25)Will Skelton (Sydney University, 21)Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University, 27) BacksAdam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs, 29)Matt Carraro (29)*Kurtley Beale (24)*Peter Betham (Sydney University, 24)Cam Crawford (Northern Suburbs, 24)Bernard Foley (Sydney University, 24)Israel Folau (Sydney University, 24)Michael Hodge (Sydney University, 24)Rob Horne (Southern Districts, 24)Jono Lance (23)*Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs, 28)Nick Phipps (Sydney University, 24)Ben Volavola (Southern Districts, 22) *New Arrivals (former club)Kurtley Beale (Rebels)Matt Carraro (Montpellier, France)Tala Gray (Biarritz, France)Nick Phipps (Rebels)Jacques Potgieter (Bulls)Jono Lance (Reds)Tolu Latu (Sydney University)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.