Ahead of their clash with the Rebels in Round 10 of Super Rugby AU, the NSW Waratahs will have an open training session on Tuesday 20 April at Manly Oval and are inviting fans to attend.
The session – starting at 6:00pm – will be an opposed training against the Manly Marlins 1st Grade Charter Hall Shute Shield team, with a meet and greet session for fans directly afterwards.
Waratahs Co-Coach Chris Whitaker described how important it is to connect to clubland and thanked the Marlins for hosting the opposed session.
“It’s about getting back to how we used to do things, back when I was playing with Randwick in the Shute Shield, the Waratahs would come and train with clubs at night-time,” Whitaker said.
“That connection is so important, we realise all our players come from Shute Shield and we are a representative team. We represent every Shute Shield team and all the clubs in NSW.
“I think there’s probably been a bit lost between the Waratahs and the clubs, not so much the players because they are proud and loyal to their clubs, but more from management and officials.
“So, one its about getting some opposition but it’s also about getting that connection back to clubs, helping each other out and doing what’s best for rugby.”
Manly Marlins Head Coach Matt McGoldric praised the Waratahs for trying to re-establish their connection back to clubland.
“Whits rang me and said considering you have the bye next weekend would you be interested in having a combined session. It’s a good change of scenery for both our sides and give our players a chance to connect with the Waratahs.” McGoldric said.
“Quite often the pathways in NSW is blurred, and it can feel like the Waratahs are a bit of an island, so it’s great of them to start building that connection again, it’s massive for us”.
The Marlins had a tough opening first round of the Charter Hall Shute Shield, going down to reigning champions Gordon, and McGoldrick noted the impact that the opposed session will have on his side.
“We’ve got quite a young team and we get a real boost when Dave Porecki and Max Douglas come back to grade, so having the whole Waratahs team down at Manly will be fantastic for our guys” McGoldric said.
“It gives a chance for our young guys to see first-hand what the next level looks like.”
So, head along, see the Waratahs go through their paces and have your phones and markers ready for some selfies and autographs on Tuesday 20 April from 6PM at Manly Oval.