NSW Waratahs

Tahs preview: vs Reds

Tahs preview: vs Reds

Waratahs boss Chris Hickey appears to have the balance of his line-up bang on for the season opener against Link’s men.

His back three can post tries from anywhere on the paddock and have the ability to interchange seamlessly between wing and full back. Expect Sos, Lacky Turner and Balmain Rugby’s most famous signing to switch positions more often than Jenna Jameson in her debut porn flick.

It’s an all acronym affair in the centres with ‘TC’ shifting to 13 to make way for ‘KB’ at inside.  This should mean the Men in Blue move the ball a bit more in 2010, maybe winning ugly didn’t sound like so much fun anymore?

Burgess has held off a strong challenge by Josh Holmes to hold down the scrum-half spot and get’s to fire passes at the Tahs star recruit. Barnes joins a long, long, loooooooooooooooong list of players who’ve had a crack at fly-half for NSW over the last decade. In no particular order:

Tim Donnelly
Duncan McRae
Shaun Berne
Manny Edmonds
Daniel Halangahu
Kurtley Beale
Christian Warner
Sam Norton-Knight

There was even talk of running Tah Man there at some stage back in ’08. It’s been a revolving door of quality players in that position but Berrick loots set to make it his own for as long as he wants it.

Cliffy at 8 and a free-wheeling Dean Mumm at 6 (where he does his best work) compliment ‘Captain Courageous’ on the flank. It’s a classy back-row.

‘Ducker’ Caldwell gets a cuzzy bro’ joining him in the row with kiwi Cam Jowitt winning the spot ahead of promising youngster Kane Douglas. Jowitt’s been taking names in the Heineken Cup over the last couple of years so you know he can handle himself up front.

Fat Cat Robinson has a mortgage on the number 1 jersey, co-incidentally many rank him the same number worldwide in his position. Architect Al locks it down on the other side while ‘Taf’ rounds out the front-row. The hooker continues to defy physics in terms of body shape, he got bigger again in the off-season and can now shoulder press the Western Grandstand at the SFS.

It’s a quality bench as well with the versatile Halangahu riding the pine alongside a couple of very accomplished players including Benny Mowen who had a superb 2009.

Week 1 v QLD Reds

Should be a cracker, Berrick gets a chance to be heckled by his own family, Quade gets a shot at redemption and Link gets a chance to stick it to the folks at NSW who gave him the rissole two years back. Redemption, a potential family emancipation and revenge all in 80 minutes? It’s like an episode of the Bold and the Beautiful.

15. Sosene Anesi* (TBA)
14. Lachie Turner (Eastwood)
13. Tom Carter (Sydney University)
12. Kurtley Beale (Northern Suburbs)
11. Drew Mitchell* (Balmain)
10. Berrick Barnes* (TBA)
9. Luke Burgess (Sydney University)
8. Wycliff Palu (Manly)
7. Phil Waugh [c] (Sydney University)
6. Dean Mumm (Sydney University)
5. Cam Jowitt*^ (Manly)
4. Will Caldwell (Sydney University)
3. Al Baxter (Northern Suburbs)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta)
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
16. Damien Fitzpatrick (Eastwood)
17. Sekope Kepu (Randwick)
18. Kane Douglas*^ (Southern Districts)
19. Ben Mowen (Randwick)
20. Josh Holmes (Warringah)
21. Daniel Halangahu (Sydney University)
22. Rory Sidey*^ (West Harbour)
* HSBC Waratahs Debut
^ Super Rugby Debut

NSW Waratahs

Proud partner of a rugby widow ... once watched rugby for 36 hours straight, starting with the 5.30 pm game from NZ on the Friday and finishing with Cheetahs v Sharks Sunday morning. Maratahon also included a Manly Harlequins unders 6's match and a Subbies game somewhere west of Penrith.

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