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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
Ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s Weary Dunlop clash against Melbourne outfit the Rebels, NSW Waratahs Captain Michael Hooper knows what his side needs to do after the first whistle blows at Allianz Stadium.
“Coming out and getting early pressure and playing the way we want to play – that’s been the focus in the games we’ve gone down,” said Hooper.
Michael Wells has been called into the staring side by Head Coach Daryl Gibson ahead of round thirteen, and Hooper agrees that it has been well earned.
“Playing with Wellsy (Michael Wells) this year, I’ve been really impressed with his attention to detail,” said Hooper. “The little things that a lot of people don’t see that he picks up really well around the field, (such as) his breakdown… is pretty special.
“He’s a good ball carrier and good defender. I’ve been really impressed with his consistency and he’s been a person who can fills holes and also do really well in the jersey he gets.”
Same goes for towering lock, Will Skelton.
“He’s (Skelton) found a bit of a blueprint for himself what it looks like to play well and give the most to the team,” said Hooper. “For us, he’s our big man and his go forward is pretty crucial.”
The openside flanker knows that a win tomorrow night will put them in good stead for finals contention after a bye week in round 12.
“We need the win to keep the season alive – that’s where we are at and that’s where we put ourselves,” said Hooper.
The NSW Waratahs take on the Melbourne Rebels at Allianz Stadium tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm. A reminder that all public transport to and from the game is included for members and ticket holders – get yours at www.waratahs.com.au/tickets.
NSW Waratahs Team to play Melbourne Rebels:
Michael Hooper ©
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The New South Wales Rugby Union is mourning the loss of former Waratah and Wallaby backrower Denis O’Callaghan, who passed away earlier this week.