The Waratahs’ preparations for the 2009 Super 14 campaign received a major boost with a number of Wallabies joining the training squad for the first time on Monday
Luke Burgess, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Timana Tahu, Lote Tuqiri and Lachie Turner all return to the training pitch, and will be joined by former Wallabies forwards coach Michael Foley, according to a report on Rugby365.
Adam Freier, Brett Sheehan, Al Baxter, Benn Robinson and Phil Waugh will join the squad over the coming week, while Sekope Kepu and Matt Dunning are recovering from surgery.
“We’re really on the doorstep of the season now,” said head coach Chris Hickey.
“We had a really hard and productive seven weeks leading into the Christmas and New Year break and now it’s time to pick that up another level.
“We’re less than three weeks away from our first trial against the Reds and less than six weeks away from the start of the tournament so there’s a lot to do, not much time but there’s a really good feeling about the place and everyone’s excited about the weeks ahead.”
Hickey stated how impressed he was with the commitment of the squad over the Christmas-New Year break, with great results from testing conducted ahead of this afternoon’s first full team run.
“All of the players have remained on active individual programs since the team’s last group session on 19 December, and the testing we’ve done has shown some players have recorded physical improvements and even PBs since then which is great news,” said Hickey.
“The Wallabies rejoining the squad certainly know just how hard everyone has been working back here and the competition for places in the team is really going to intensify over the coming weeks.”
The Waratahs play their first trial on 24 January against the Reds in Toowoomba, and their first Super 14 match against the Hurricanes on 14 February.Tweet