Rookie NSW Waratahs hooker Hugh Roach says he’s ready to take a major Super Rugby step.
Roach is in line to come off the bench for the Waratahs this weekend, Tatafu Polota-Nau (arm) out for the next six weeks.
The 23-year-old has had a taste of Super Rugby, having debuted in 2014 and starting for the Waratahs last season with Polota-Nau injured and Tolu Latu suspended.
The opponent won’t be unknown territory for Roach, who had a glimpse of the Highlanders in preseason when the Waratahs faced them in a trial and said he was excited to be a part of the 23 again.
“It’s been unfortunate for Taf to go through injury because he had a really, really good preseason and when was playing some really good footy,” he said.
“It’s never good to see that but in saying that I’m to put my foot forward.
“I’ve been training pretty well with the Tahs...This is my third year now so I’m ready to rip in on Friday.
“All I can do is play the best rugby I can and train how I want to train and how the team wants me to train.
“I’m ready to rip in and do my role."
Coming off a round two loss to the Brumbies in which the scrum presented a headache for the NSW side, Roach said they had focused on turning that around ahead of their 2015 semi final rematch against the Highlanders.
“We focused a lot on our scrum in the bye week,” he said.
“So, the bye week consisted of a lot of scrummaging, getting that right and just staying to our piece and staying true to our identity of physicality and that kind of thing.”
NRL convert Reece Robinson is still waiting for his first opportunity of the season but said he was happy to bide his time and help the starting side wherever he could.
“The boys that don’t get selected, we’re doing our best to help the starting team do what they have to do to prepare for the game,” he said.
“We’ll just help them out any way we can and hopefully when we get that call we’ll know what’s going on.”
Robinson was on standby for the match against the Brumbies, with Matt Carraro’s wife in labour but a delivery just in time meant the ex-Parramatta Eel was on the sideline.
The 28-year-old played his first Rugby game in roughly a decade over the weekend, featuring for Randwick in trials against Sydney Uni.