Tahs take on Brumbies and Highlanders
The Waratahs will play three pre-season trial matches which include the blockbuster local derby at the Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium on Saturday, February 4 and the Highlanders in their final trial at Brookvale Oval on Sydney’s northern beaches on Thursday, February 16.
Waratahs second trial will form part of their campaign at next year’s inaugural Brisbane Global Tens on February 11 and February 12. The new ten-a-side tournament will see the star players of all ten Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby clubs, plus four elite teams from across the world, compete over the two days.
The 'Tahs then return home for their third and final trial at Brookvale Oval on Sydney’s northern beaches on Thursday, February 16 against 2016 Super Rugby semifinalists, the Highlanders before their Super Rugby season officially kicks off on Saturday, February 25 against the Western Force at home at Allianz Stadium.
The NSW Waratahs have partnered with Mid-Western Regional Council for a week-long road trip planned in the country ahead of their first pre-season match. The game will feature a curtain raiser between the NSW Gen Blue Under-20 and the Central West senior representative side, the Blue Bulls.
Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor, Des Kennedy said the announcement that the NSW Waratahs trial match would come to Mudgee was fantastic for the region.
"It’s a great economic boost for Mudgee, every tourism operator and local business will reap the benefits. We’re pretty well located, within an hour and a half of towns like Dubbo, Bathurst and Coonabarabran and surrounding regions, it’s a beautiful part of the world," Kennedy said.
"We’re all about growing the region and this is another way to do so. We’re really excited and appreciative the Waratahs have chosen us for their trial, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the sport to the bush kids. This will be one of the rare chances for them to see Waratahs and Wallabies players live, which is great given a lot of those players are from these areas too.
"The new facility at Glen Willow is world-class, it’s one of the best grounds in rural NSW. The facilities are fantastic. We can fit 10 000 people in there, which we hope to do. To say we’re excited is an understatement. Let’s hope we get a great rollout and a great day,"
NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach, Chris Malone, said he was looking forward to having the home ground advantage at two out of the three trials in 2017, one in the city and one in the country, showcasing the Waratahs across the state.
"There are plenty of players in the team whose hometowns are in regional NSW so we’re all really proud to be bringing one of our trials to the country," Malone said.
"The Glen Willow Complex at Mudgee is the best in the state, a top class facility and region to host a top class Super Rugby trial. Hopefully, we will see our country supporters come from miles around to enjoy the occasion.
"It will also be really good to host the game against the Highlanders at Brookvale for our fans in Sydney to enjoy the preseason action. This area has a strong rugby following, and many of our members will have easy access to this game. Brookvale is an iconic venue and, on a late summer evening, hopefully, we will get great support.
"Taking the game of rugby across the state is vital to our future and, as seen throughout the NRC, showcasing the game at a high level is really exciting for all of our supporters.
"The team will really benefit from playing against two of Super Rugby’s strongest teams, the Highlanders and Brumbies, and, for the first time, a host of different teams in the Brisbane Global Tens, to prepare them for the season ahead,”