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Thread: NSW eye back-to-back Super Rugby crowns

  1. #1
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    NSW eye back-to-back Super Rugby crowns

    Darren Walton
    November 20, 2014, 1:37 pm

    The NSW Waratahs are embracing the challenge of trying to remain at the Super Rugby summit - even in the absence of master motivator Michael Cheika.

    While Cheika, in his new twin role as coach of state and country, is guiding the Wallabies in Europe, the non-touring Waratahs have begun pre-season training in Sydney.

    With defence coach Nathan Grey also with the Wallabies, Cheika's fellow assistant Daryl Gibson has taken charge and skipper Dave Dennis admits training is a lot quieter in the boss's absence.

    "You miss his voice, I suppose. You get used to him talking every day," Dennis said.

    "But, no, look, Daryl did a great job last year with our win and he's making the transition pretty smooth."

    Quieter it may be, but Dennis said training was no less intense without Cheika cracking whips as the Tahs set their sights on becoming only the fourth franchise to go back-to-back in 20 seasons of Super Rugby.

    "That's the biggest challenge," Dennis said.

    "We've obviously taken a fair while to achieve our goal of winning the title but, now that we have, I think it's given the team a good level of confidence.

    "We definitely need to work harder. We can't get comfortable with where we are.

    "We know teams are going to be coming at us a bit harder next year. People are going to be wanting to knock us off a bit more."

    Dennis spent the Waratahs' historic final triumph over the Crusaders on crutches after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee for the third time.

    But after a gruelling four-month rehabilitation process, including two weeks in the US working one-on-one with a specialist trainer from the Waratahs' Sparta Science program, the flanker is on track for a return in the opening game of the side's title defence.

    "I'm running three times a week and will try to increase the volume and get used to working under fatigue and then going back to back with the running," he said.

    "I'd like to get a trial under my belt before I make it back in a competition game but, at this stage, the aim's for round one."

    The 28-year-old said the birth two months ago of his first son, Francis - with former Australian netballer Mo'onia Gerrard - had been the silver lining to his missing the Waratahs' final win.

    "I sort of looked at it as though, if I was still playing, I would have been away somewhere through the NRC or through the Wallabies or something else," Dennis said.

    "So I've been home nearly every day since he's been born, except for my two weeks in America, and it's been fantastic.

    "Missing the final was a big disappointment but it put it into perspective."


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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    With all the extra rugby for their Wallabies.....they'll top the Australian conference easy.

    Every other team has their best and brightest sitting on their arses

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    C'mon the

  3. #3
    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    With all the extra rugby for their Wallabies.....they'll top the Australian conference easy.

    Every other team has their best and brightest sitting on their arses
    Ain't that the truth!

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  4. #4
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    So does this mean Dennis stays captain even though Hooper is captain of the Wallabies? Surely Hooper must get the gig to develop as a leader as he is showing a lot of weaknesses. Or does it not matter as he will not be captain once Moore is back (and potentially Pocock)

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    I would imagine Moore will get the job once he is back.

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    it is interesting that pocock keeps coming up in conversation. I can't remember the last time i saw him play...

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