After proving themselves over what’s been a strange year of club rugby, a selection of players have been rewarded with train-on spots in the NSW Waratahs pre-season squad for the 2021 Super Rugby season.
Several players from across the Shute Shield have been identified to join the November/December training block under the watchful eye of Rob Penney and his coaching staff.
They’ve been slogging it out over a few weeks already, with intensive fitness sessions under the guidance of new Head of Performance, Ben Serpell and sharpening their skills with plenty of long days and double sessions.
NSWRU General Manger of Rugby, Tim Rapp said the opportunity to expose players to a professional program would be invaluable for their development.
“We’ve got some fantastic players in club rugby here in Sydney and this is their chance to see what a program looks like at that next level,” Rapp said.
“It’s about continuing the player’s pathway and rewarding guys who are doing well.
“It’s important we have a genuine connection between the Shute Shield and the Waratahs, so that players can aspire to join a professional program if they play their best footy at that level.
“After a few weeks we’ve already seen huge improvements across the entire group.
“They’ll return to their clubs with more experience and understanding of their individual games and we’re looking forward to seeing how they can continue to improve in 2021.”
Players will remain with the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby squad until the end of December.
2021 Pre-season training squad members:
Sio Tatola – Manly Marlins
Laurence Tominiko – Southern Districts
Michael Icely – Eastwood
Brooklyn Hardaker – Randwick
Nathan Russel – Northern Suburbs
Max Burey – Northern Suburbs