The NSW Waratahs have secured the signature of NSW Pathway product and rising back row talent Ned Slack-Smith from the Western Force for the upcoming 2024 Super Rugby Pacific Season.
At only 20 years of age, Slack-Smith's pathway to Waratahs has come via Barker College, Sydney, and Warringah Rugby Club alongside the NSW Rugby Gen Blue pathway – the young backrower was also selected Captain for the Junior Wallabies against New Zealand earlier this year.
Waratahs Head Coach, Darren Coleman said that Slack-Smiths signing was a testament to our pathways program and will add depth to our back-row.
“We’ve got a great history of developing talent through our pathway here in New South Wales with high-end competitions to assist player development.
Slack-Smith is another great example of that, we were disappointed to lose him to the Force for the year out of school, so when he reached out to say he was keen to return to his home state, we jumped at it”, Coleman said.
“He’s a fantastic athlete with a great skill set that is only going to improve with experience, he has leadership skills we hope will grow and he’s a proud Northern Beaches boy and we’re looking forward to watching him rip into training.”
Slack-Smith said that representing his home state has always been his dream.
“I enjoyed my time over in the West but I’m super excited to get back to Sydney alongside my family and friends,” Slack-Smith said.
“To be a part of the Waratahs squad is something I’m really excited about and I’m keen to work alongside DC and his team to help me develop and if I can work hard this pre-season, hopefully, I can have a chance to pull on the famous sky blue”.
Previous Clubs: Western Force
International experience: Junior Wallabies