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By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit
The HSBC Waratahs will relocate to Newcastle next week, taking to the Hunter region for short training camp before the Christmas break.
The squad arrives in Newcastle next Wednesday December 19 and will conduct a fan day at Hunter Stadium and several public training sessions, before returning to Sydney on Saturday, December 22.
The visit has been welcomed by Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy. “Newcastle is a sport loving community and I am sure everyone will welcome the NSW Waratahs with open arms,” he said.
“It is great to see teams of this calibre travelling to regional areas and the two day camp will provide an exciting precursor to the British & Irish Lions Tour match scheduled for Tuesday, June 11 next year against a combined NSW and Queensland Country side.
“The city’s ability to continually attract sporting events at the highest level is one of the main contributors to Newcastle being named as the 2012 World Festival and Event city by the International Festival and Events Association.”
Organised in conjunction with Hunter Events, the squad will spend three nights at the Crown Plaza Hotel Newcastle and will also undertake a number of activities in support of the local community, including a fundraising dinner for local businesses.
As part of their on-field preparation, the team will conduct morning and afternoon skills and conditioning sessions at No. 2 Sports Ground, which the public are welcome to watch.
In addition, Thursday’s fan day and signing session at Hunter Stadium and will give the local community a chance to meet the players, have their photos taken and get an autograph, just in time for Christmas.
New HSBC Waratahs Head Coach Michael Cheika says the camp has clear advantages for the squad as well as the Newcastle community.
“As well the chance to give our pre-season training one last push before the Christmas break, the camp is an important chance to get out and about in one of our strong regional communities. As well as a bit of hard work, we’re looking forward to meeting our fans from the Newcastle Hunter region and making the most of the chance to support the local rugby community and the work of the NSWRU development team,” said Cheika.
“We represent New South Wales and a number of our players are country boys, including Jeremy Tilse who was born and bred up in Maitland, Benn Robinson, whose family property is in the Tamworth area, Kane Douglas and Jed Holloway from Yamba, Pat McCutcheon from Narromine and Paddy Ryan from Tamworth. It is important to us that we recognise this in our program.”
Last year the HSBC Waratahs spent a week in Tamworth and played their first trial match there. Over the past few years the squad has visited a number of rural and regional areas such as Lismore, Orange and Nowra and enjoyed taking to the road and visiting the fans, members and rugby families from outside the Sydney area.
This year’s visit has been well received by the local rugby community. “The Waratahs’ visit to Newcastle will be a great kick start to a very exciting new season,” said Matthew Johnston, NSW Development Manager for the Newcastle region.
“With a new coach and playing roster, the Hunter rugby community is right behind the Tahs and will be supporting the team and local players like Jeremy Tilse, throughout a huge Super Rugby season and when they take on The Lions in June.”
With the exception of the squad’s returning Wallabies, who return to training in early January, the camp will be attended by all the NSW playing squad, including a number of additional players from the NSW rugby community who have been invited to train with the squad.
HSBC Waratahs training camp details
Thursday December 20, 2012
8.30 – 10am - Training session (speed and skills), No. 2 Sports Ground
4.30 – 5.30pm – Training session (skills), Hunter Stadium
5 – 6.30pm – Fan day and signing session, Hunter Stadium (flyer attached)
Friday December 21, 2012
8.30 - 10am – Training session (speed and skills), No 2 Sports Ground
5 – 6.30pm – Training session (skills and conditioning), No 2 Sports Ground
Members of the public are welcome to watch all the squad’s training sessions.
The recent arrival of Israel Folau signing completes the HSBC Waratahs squad for what is already shaping up to be an exciting season of Super Rugby action and an historic year for rugby in NSW, with the arrival of the British & Irish Lions in June. An HSBC Waratahs membership is the only way to guarantee your seat for all the action and secure a host of members-only benefits including free entry to the Super Rugby trial match against the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium on February 14, which could be fans’ first chance to see Israel in action, priority access to The Lions Tour match against the HSBC Waratahs on June 15, 2013 and great value match tickets and invitations to exclusive member-only events. Two game adult memberships start at just $38, with eight-game full season family packages available from just $325 (two adults and two children). To become a 2013 member call the membership hotline on 1300 733 899 (9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) or buy online at www.waratahs.com.au/membership.
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Northern Suburbs will be out to defend their 2016 premiership title while the Warringah Rats will be determined to secure their first victory since 2005 in Saturday’s Shute Shield Grand Final to be played at North Sydney Oval.