Waratahs’ Skelton won’t tone down the agression

Will Skelton is ready to return to playing for the Waratahs from suspension but says that he will not be toning down his levels of aggression.

Skelton has served a two week suspension for a dangerous lifting tackle on Sam Whitelock in the Waratahs match against the Crusaders and is now free to continue playing.

The 145kg lock Skelton was the Waratahs top tackler against the Crusaders but his early tackle and then suspension ruled him out of the Waratahs tour of South Africa.

The Waratahs have already qualified for the Super Rugby play offs but they need to beat the Reds on Saturday – preferably with a bonus point – if they are to hold on to second place in the overall standings.

The Sydney Super Rugby franchise took Skelton to South Africa as they appealed the suspension but he was sent home when the ban was upheld.

Skelton says that had found the two week “frustrating” having flown out to South Africa and then being prevented from playing but still having to remain fit whilst also removing the risk from his tackle style.

“There are things on the field you can control and things you can’t, ” Skelton told the Daily Telegraph.

“Tolu was a part of that (tackle) and I couldn’t see where he was. I have put that behind and been working on my tech (technique) stuff with in the last two weeks with a few of the trainers to really nullify that and it won’t happen again,” Skelton said.

When asked whether the two week ban would see him tone down the agression level he showed against the Crusaders Skelton said, “I will bring the same intensity I have every game I have played. I don’t believe I have wavered or changed this year, how I have played. “

“The tackle was a dangerous thing but moving into this week I am just looking forward to being out there again.”

Waratahs assistant coach Daryl Gibson says that he won’t be telling Skelton to tone it down.

“We certainly haven’t tempered Will’s intent around playing the game. We want our players to play tough, and part of that is being physical,” Gibson said.

“Will is a big guy and I guess he is having a look at some of the tackle techniques he uses.”

Skelton is expected to be joined on the team list this week by hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau who has missed the last six weeks with concussion pending medical approval.

If the Waratahs hold on to their second place they will be rewarded with a week off and they will also have winger Rob Horne and Tolu Latu back from suspension which would give the team a lot brighter outlook compared to the dark cloudes a couple of weeks ago.

“Provided we can make it to the following weeks, yeah,” Gibson agreed.

“Certainly you can tell by training, with the enthusiasm they brought, they’re fresh and ready to go.

“(A week off) would be very significant. We are very aware no team has won with (playing) ten games on the trot.”

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