The NSW Waratahs have today confirmed a practice match against an ACT Brumbies XV at St Edmunds College in Canberra on Saturday 24 September.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman is using the practice match to give his wider squad, academy players, and a selection of eight Shute Shield players game time ahead of their pre-season officially kicking off on November 7.
A strong proponent of the Shute Shield, Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was delighted to invite eight of the strongest performers in the competition to help bolster the numbers for the match.
“We are fortunate in NSW to have the Shute Shield which we believe is the strongest club competition in Australia and our first port of call for talent. It is, and always will be, the lifeblood of the Waratahs and Australian rugby,” Coleman said
“We wanted to use this match as a means to have a look at some players that were both position appropriate and had dominant club seasons and provide an opportunity for them to come into our environment, get to know them, in case we hit some injuries in the future”
The Shute Shield players will join the Waratahs squad this week, allowing them to acquaint themselves with the coaching staff and team in the weeks leading up to the match.
Having a fixture this late in the year offers a valuable high-quality hit out for the Waratahs players and an opportunity for a closer look at others.
“We’re excited to have this match before our official pre-season starts in November and I’d like to thank the Brumbies for helping arrange this,” Coleman said
“For the players not involved in Wallabies and the Australia A programs, it provides an opportunity to get some quality game time, build some cohesion, and show us what they can do in this environment.
“These matches are incredibly exciting, and there have been lots of stories of guys playing well in Waratahs A and trial matches who have gone on to get full-time contracts.
“Last season Langi Gleeson had a breakout game against the Brumby Runners that led to a contract for this year, while Harry Wilson had a standout series earlier this season that led to him getting not only an offer from us but two other Super Rugby teams as well.”
Both teams will come together at the conclusion of the match to watch the Wallabies take on the All Blacks.
Shute Shield players joining the Waratahs for the clash with the Brumbies XV
Sateki Latu (Warringah), Ben Houston (Randwick), Ratu Tuisese (Eastwood), Hunter Ward (Manly), Michael Icely (Eastwood), Jack McGregor (Gordon), Alex Pohla (Gordon), James Hendren (Randwick), Dan O'Brien (Randwick), Esera Chee-Kam (Warringah)
NSW WARATAHS DEVELOPMENT v ACT BRUMBIES XV St. Edmund's College, Canberra Saturday 24 September, Kick-off 1:30pm