Whitaker: The motivation is definitely there

by Waratahs Media
It’s a case of silver linings for NSW Waratahs Assistant, Chris Whitaker as his side grapples with an unprecedented delay to the Vodafone Super Rugby season due to COVID-19.

“We reviewed the Brumbies game [on Wednesday], identified our work ons and trained around a lot of those things,” Whitaker said.

“I suppose now we don’t have games to prepare for in the next couple of weeks, we’re looking at this as an opportunity to fix a few of those problems we’ve got in our game.

“The next few weeks is about concentrating on us and our rugby and wait and see what happens with everything else.”

When asked about the motivation within the team amidst the current uncertainty, Whitaker’s response was simple.

“The motivation is definitely there,” he said.

“I think everyone is just disappointed with how we’ve gone [in the opening rounds]. In saying that, I know from the outside people might not see it but there’s a lot of good stuff in the game that we’re producing, chances we’re creating.

“The guys are excited and energised around that, but they’re really aiming to put that together for a full 80 minutes.”

Whilst the governing bodies work towards a revised competition in the current climate, the Super Rugby squad continues to train as normal – albeit under slightly modified conditions.

“The suspension of the competition and the impact of the corona virus is there, there’s a lot of changes being and we’ve got to be very careful – there’s a big picture to look at as well,” Whitaker said.

“We’ve got limits on how many people can be in the office, so the administration staff are working from home and the Academy and Super W teams aren’t training at the moment.

“It’s basically just the contracted players and support staff in [at Daceyville] – we’re limiting the amount of contact around the training ground.

“We’re getting temperature checked when we arrive each day, limiting the number of people in meeting rooms and are focused on our hygiene.

“Our Team Doctor has been in close contact with Rugby Australia and spoke to us this week about all the things we need to be aware of.

“A lot of people are working very hard to ensure that no one contracts the virus, not just for the sake of rugby but for our health and wellbeing – it’s a big issue.”

For the meantime, the focus was to stay safe and healthy before the potential announcement of any upcoming fixtures.

“When we get a date for our first game we can start focusing our training towards that, but until that comes out and we have an idea of who we’re playing and what we’re doing we’re just focusing on ourselves,” Whitaker said.