Waratahs give Polota-Nau more time

The Waratahs will wait until the last minute to finalise their match day 22 for their round eleven clash with the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium.

Head coach Chris Hickey has named a 25-man extended squad which will continue to prepare together as a unit for the remainder of the training week.

Hickey said he was still hopeful that prop Benn Robinson and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau would be able to line-up on Saturday evening, however the team will prepare for the match by covering for all contingencies.

“It’s never ideal to be in the situation where you’re waiting to finalise the team, but we knew right after the Crusaders game that it would be touch-and-go for both of those guys and we’ve prepared accordingly for almost two weeks,” said Hickey.

“Over the last couple of years Benn has become one of the best front rowers in the game, and Tatafu has been probably one of the in-form players of the Super 14 in 2010. If you need to, you do everything in your power to get players of that calibre on the field.

Hickey said that while both Robinson and Polota-Nau had limited their on-field training during the week to give them the best chance of playing, their potential replacements will step up if called upon.

“Sekope Kepu has played Test Rugby so we know what he’s capable of and Dan Palmer is without doubt one of the best up and coming props in the game,” said Hickey.

“Damien Fitzpatrick is also putting his hand up for opportunities, and now Adam Freier’s back in the mix as well after playing 60 minutes for Randwick last week.”

Hickey has also brought in 2010 rookie Rory Sidey as cover for a number of players in the backline.

“Berrick [Barnes] and Lachie [Turner] took it a bit easier yesterday with a stomach bug so they spent time away from the rest of the group, but we’re confident they’ll get over that and be back into it tomorrow,” said Hickey.

“Rob Horne also has a niggle in the buttock region, so we’re monitoring his training load over the next few days.

“Given that, Rory will keep training with us for the next couple of days and if he’s not required then he’ll be available to play club Rugby for West Harbour on Saturday.”


Chris Alcock (Gordon), Sosene Anesi (Eastern Suburbs), Al Baxter (Northern Suburbs), Berrick Barnes (Sydney University), Kurtley Beale (Northern Suburbs), Luke Burgess (Sydney University), Will Caldwell (Sydney University), Tom Carter (Sydney University), Dave Dennis (Sydney University), Kane Douglas (Southern Districts), Damien Fitzpatrick (Eastwood), Adam Freier (Randwick), Daniel Halangahu (Sydney University), Josh Holmes (Warringah), Rob Horne (Southern Districts), Sekope Kepu (Randwick), Drew Mitchell (Balmain), Ben Mowen (Randwick), Dean Mumm (Sydney University), Dan Palmer (Southern Districts), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta), Benn Robinson (Eastwood), Rory Sidey (West Harbour), Lachie Turner (Eastwood), Phil Waugh [c] (Sydney University).

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