By NSW Waratahs Media unit

The NSW Waratahs have released the findings of the external review following the 2017 Super Rugby season.

In addition to an internal review conducted, the organisation engaged sports administrator Dirk Melton to lead the external review designed to put the organisation under the microscope and ensure all efforts were made to implement changes.

NSW Rugby CEO Andrew Hore said a lot of changes from the internal and external review had already been made, with these happening prior to the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

“We recognise that improvements across multiple areas of our game needed to be made and we have already started doing that work.

“While it’s referred to as a review, the essence of the feedback is based on learning and development and it provides us with the framework we need to help us improve our performance in 2018 and beyond.

“What the external review conducted by Dirk Melton has provided us with are the structures and systems we need to have in place to support our players, coaches and support staff to ensure we are doing everything possible off the field to get the results on the field.

“In the internal review we identified the key areas we needed to address. These include the areas of fitness, defence and discipline, and we have made changes to staff and playing rosters and have put the right structures in place to support our team,” Hore said.  

Melton’s report provided the following key recommendations:

  1. Taking a “whole of sport” approach. Putting the structures in place to support the Rugby department across the whole business as well as ensuring the systems within the Rugby department have the right people leading the right areas.
  2. Defining and improving reporting lines for all support staff within the Rugby department to better support players
  3. Establishing a Rugby Committee consisting of the GM: Rugby, Head Coach and representatives from the team’s Sports Science, Medical and Wellbeing personnel
  4. Redefining the player leadership group to have the Captain, Vice-Captain and re-introducing the ‘Club Captain’ role, responsible for off-field leadership and has a proud history within the NSW Waratahs
  5. Establishing a Performance Committee that includes Rugby department staff, experienced past players on the Board and independent advisors (as required)
  6. Introducing a Performance Coach who works one-on-one with players and is responsible for investing in the players’ mental wellbeing and leadership development


Hore said the organisation has already started to implement some of the recommended changes, including:

  1. Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the Rugby department staff and changes to the player and staffing roster
  2. Putting a greater emphasis on mental skills, wellbeing and leadership development  for players, coaches and support staff
  3. Changing the playing and coaching staff with the Head Coach taking on the specialist role of Defence Coach and the appointment of former Australian Under 20s, Sydney Rays and Northern Suburbs Coach Simon Cron as Assistant Coach
  4. Recruiting hard working players Kurtley Beale, Tom Staniforth and Rob Simmons, and re-signing young prop Tom Robertson until 2020
  5.  Redefining the team’s fitness and nutrition programme


Hore said the focus is now firmly on looking ahead.

“When you look in Australia at successful elite outfits, like the Melbourne Storm and Queensland Rugby League, their success is on the back of stability within their hierarchy with the Coach, Captain, Management and Board, a Board that has a vision for the game as well as a ‘hard work’ approach as the common goal.

“What gives me confidence in turning around our performances is the alignment we have between our management team, our Head Coach, our Captain and our Board.  The restructure we have put in place at NSW Rugby is not just about growing rugby in our State but also supporting our high performance team the NSW Waratahs,” Hore said. 






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