Having just lately been accused of tightening their purse strings to the detriment of the membership by former coach Rob Penney, the Waratahs have lastly managed to lure some expertise again to New South Wales.
In line with a report from the Sydney Morning Herald, 25-cap Wallabies utility ahead Ned Hanigan has agreed to hitch the Waratahs forward of the 2021 season following a six-month stint taking part in within the second division of Japan’s High League.
The 25-year-old parted methods with the membership following final 12 months’s Tremendous Rugby AU competitors however hung round Australia lengthy sufficient to play 5 check matches beneath Dave Rennie.
Hanigan wasn’t the one high-profile departure from the membership, nevertheless, with the likes of Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale gone from this 12 months’s squad – though Hooper can be set to return to the facet for subsequent season.
Their absences, coupled with the losses of Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps and Rob Simmons following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, have left the Waratahs with an exceptionally inexperienced squad.
Whereas there are many promising and up and coming gamers on the books, together with former Beneath 20 stars Angus Bell, Will Harrison and Mark Nawaqanitawase, their lack of expertise has proven at occasions over the previous one and a half campaigns, with the Waratahs now winless from their six matches so far in 2021.
Regardless of Hanigan’s probably arrival in Australia falling in Might, the lock-cum-flanker gained’t be out there for the Waratahs at any stage this 12 months – together with through the upcoming Tremendous Rugby Trans-Tasman competitors. He’ll, nevertheless, be instantly out there for choice within the Wallabies, ought to Rennie select to carry him again into the fold.
Hanigan’s return subsequent 12 months ought to assist certain up the Waratahs ahead pack, which is good news for followers of the NSW facet however will likely be of zero comfort to Rob Penney, who was sacked following final week’s loss to the Reds.
Penney joined the membership as head coach at first of 2020 however confronted speedbump after speedbump in his one and a half seasons with the crew.
The Kiwi was overtly vital of the New South Wales board following his dismissal, suggesting that he’d been made a scapegoat for a raft of poor choices that had been exterior of his management.
The Waratahs are refusing to rule out the prospect of Michael Cheika returning to the franchise following the sacking of Rob Penney final weekend. #SuperRugbyAotearoa https://t.co/VjhUEFWyIE
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 2, 2021
Chief amongst them was the truth that administration had tightened their purse strings to higher put together the membership for a post-COVID world. In the meantime, the opposite Australian sides had been capable of bolster their squads to the detriment of the Waratahs, leaving Penney with the inexperienced facet that he tried to get the most effective out of.
Bringing Ned Hanigan again to NSW is the primary piece of significant recruiting that the membership has carried out – nevertheless it’s a net-zero achieve.
Waratahs followers will likely be hopeful that Hanigan’s return is an indication of issues to come back, nevertheless, and that the membership might at the very least have the ability to put up a battle subsequent season.
Take heed to the most recent episode of the Aotearoa Rugby Pod beneath:
Signal as much as our mailing checklist for a weekly digest from the large world of rugby.
Signal Up Now