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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
With Round 8 of Super Rugby competition presenting itself as a bye week for the NSW Waratahs, a large portion of the playing group have been released for club duties.
While some players go into Wallaby camp and others are rested, Head Coach Daryl Gibson looks forward to seeing part of his squad in club colours this weekend.
“Players are passionate about representing their clubs”, said Gibson. “It’s a good opportunity for players to get valuable game time and keep pressing for a spot”.
Out of the squad picked for last Friday’s fixture against the Hurricanes in Wellington, eight of those will pull on their Shute Shield jerseys over the course of the Easter weekend.
“From a Super Rugby perspective, we want to hit the ground running heading into the King’s game (next Friday night) and the best way to stay prepared is to keep playing rugby”, affirmed Gibson.
So when you are out at and about supporting your local club this Easter weekend, make sure you keep your eye’s peeled for the Tah cameos in the Shute Shield!
Game by Game:
Manly versus Parramatta (televised match):
Hosted by the Marlins, the Two-Blues will welcome back wrecking ball prop David Lolohea as he re-joins NSW-capped lock Senio Toleafoa. Parramatta will come up against an unforgiving Manly outfit with Matt Lucas in the No.9 jersey, a side who last week put away Sydney University by a convincing margin.
Northern Suburbs versus Southern Districts:
Norths centre Irae Simone and fullback Bryce Hegarty will return to the premiership winning side for their Round Three fixture against Southern Districts at North Sydney Oval. The Rebels’ back row will get a boost in the form of Jed Holloway, who will be looking to help continue his side’s winning streak in the start of the 2017 season.
Randwick versus Sydney University:
Andrew Kellaway will reunite with Andrew Deegan and Reece Robinson for his Galloping Greens as they face off against the Students. On the flipside, they will be facing off against team mates Nick Phipps and Dave McDuling, who will be looking to up the pace and physicality of the game.
Eastern Suburbs versus Eastwood:
Recently capped pivot Mack Mason, alongside Gen Blue U20’s lock Ryan McCauley will have their hands full when they take on Eastwood’s Damien Fitzpatrick and Hugh Roach.
Penrith versus Warringah:
After being selected in the 23 against the Hurricanes, Sam Needs will be lining up with NSW team mates Maclean Jones and Harry Jones this weekend as they look to continue sharpening up their attacking prowess against the Penrith outfit.
Gordon versus West Harbour:
Despite both sides playing host to NSW Waratahs, neither Jack Dempsey (Gordon) nor Taqele Naiyaravoro (West Harbour) will be returning to play this weekend.
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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.