Tahs suffer captaincy blow
Waratahs skipper Jake Gordon could be sidelined for the next month of Super Rugby Pacific with a hamstring injury.
The 28-year-old was a late omission from the line-up that edged Western Force 22-17 this past Sunday, after suffering the injury at training.
Scans on Tuesday revealed he will miss the clash against winless Melbourne on Saturday night at the SCG and likely games against Queensland and Fijian Drua.
“He’ll be two to four [weeks] unfortunately,” assistant coach Chris Whitaker said on Tuesday.
“He’ll be in rehab and two to four is probably the best time, depending on how he reacts in the next couple of days.
“We have full confidence he will be back sooner rather than later.”
With Gordon sidelined, Jack Grant slotted in at No.9 and helped turn the screws on the Force, earning praise from Whitaker.
“I thought Jack was outstanding,” said Whitaker, a former NSW scrumhalf himself.
“It’s a tough situation for Jack having the skipper in front of him and getting the opportunities they’re few and far between.
“We probably haven’t seen the best of him until the game on the weekend, he was probably trying to play within himself … but I think on the weekend we saw how good he can be.
“He’s good with fast ball and that I think suited our style in the first 40 minutes; we were quite up-tempo and a lot of that was on the back of his good service and speed around the field.”
The Tahs will face a desperate Rebels outfit, who are yet to bank their first victory in 2022.
Melbourne fullback Reece Hodge said his team had been working hard to hit their straps, with a focus on their defence which was below par against the Brumbies last round.
“Obviously the boys are very disappointed with our start to the year,” Hodge said.
“We’re under no illusions that hard work is one of the most important things that’s going to get us out of it and everyone is on the same page.
“Hopefully we can get a good result this week against the Tahs.”