As the dust settles on a disappointing Super Rugby campaign, the Waratahs not selected for Wallabies duties are ready to rip in for their Shute Shield clubs in a pivotal point of the year.
For Randwick, the arrival of their Super Rugby players has come at the perfect time with the club currently sitting seventh on the ladder and facing a dauting run home.
The Galloping Greens face second on the table Northern Suburbs this weekend at Coogee Oval, and welcome back Waratahs Will Harrison and James Ramm to their team.
The talented flyhalf cannot wait to run out for beloved Randwick, especially on his home track.
“I think it’s very exciting to get back to Shute Shield this weekend. Obviously, it’s been a very disappointing season at the Waratahs, and I think a lot of the boys are looking forward to getting back to their clubs and enjoying their rugby,” Harrison said.
“For me personally I really enjoy representing Randwick. I’m a proud local junior there so every time I get to play on Coogee Oval, I want play my part for the jersey, and I’m really looking forward to ripping in.”
The chance to play club footy will be a welcome tonic for many Waratahs, with some getting the chance for much needed game time after layoffs with injury such as Joey Walton at Gordon.
For others like Harrison it’s a chance to connect with familiar faces and represent the clubs who have been pivotal in their journey to Super Rugby.
“It’s the pathway a lot of players get their first look in from playing good rugby at Shute Shield,” Harrison said.
“I enjoy the comradery and the banter that goes along with it. You head to training on a Tuesday and Thursday night and there’s blokes who have been working their arse off during the day and they come to training and to see them working really hard, puts a smile on my face.
“Then you go and play with them on the weekend and they are a lot of the boys that I played with growing up so it’s a pretty good feeling.”
The Waratahs playmaker was under no illusions at what his club side faces in the run home, and with several teammates returning to other clubs, it makes training during the weekend at Daceyville even more interesting.
“If you look at our next nine weeks for Randwick, we’re sitting 7th on the ladder and I think we play the top six sides. So, every game from here on in is do or die,” Harrison said.
“From now on you’re facing Waratahs teammates each week in the run home so that adds another element to the mix with plenty of banter thrown around at training.
“This week Jack Whetton won’t shut up, so he’s got a massive target on his back. The big 6’6’ 260 (pounds), he’s going to cop it so I’m really looking forward to challenging myself against the peg leg.”
All Shute Shield matches are live and exclusive on StanSport from 3pm on Saturday.
NSW Waratahs in action this weekend in the Shute Shield
Chris Talakai (Sydney Uni), Henry Robertson (Sydney Uni), Jack Whetton (Northern Suburbs), James Ramm (Randwick), Joe Cotton (Southern Districts), Joey Walton (Gordon), Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (Southern Districts), Tane Edmed (Eastwood), Tom Horton (Sydney Uni), Will Harrison (Randwick)