Waratahs lock in 2016 pre-season schedule

by RUGBY.com.au

All the Super Rugby trials are locked in, after the NSW Waratahs confirmed their preseason schedule on Wednesday.

NSW will kick off its trial schedule with a match against the Brumbies in Wagga Wagga before taking their final two matches to New Zealand.

The Waratahs will face the Chiefs, for the first time since the 2015 pre-season, in Rotorua on February 12 before heading to Queenstown for a semi-final rematch against the Highlanders.

The Waratahs have hosted the Kiwi teams in trials the past two years, claiming narrow wins in both matches.

The matches will be the first Waratahs matches with new head coach Daryl Gibson at the helm and he is excited for the challenge.

“Going up against three of the top six 2015 Super Rugby teams, it will be a good chance for us to test ourselves as a team with some competitive matches ahead of the 2016 season,” he said.

“The players have already forged some strong bonds across pre-season so it will be good to see how they come together in a game situation.”

On the field, Gibson said the trials will play a critical role for their new players, with plenty of intrigue surrounding the 2016 Waratahs line-up.

“It’ll be great for some of the new guys too. There’s a few new faces who I know will be vying for a spot in the team this year so I’m be keen to see who steps up.”

The Waratahs open their Asteron Life Super Rugby season on February 27, with a match against the Queensland Reds at Allianz Stadium.


Super Rugby trials

Wednesday February 3

Force vs Hurricanes - Gosford

Thursday February 4

Rebels vs Blues - Auckland

Saturday February 6

Waratahs vs Brumbies - Wagga Wagga

Reds vs Crusaders - Ballymore

Friday February 12

Reds vs Brumbies - Ballymore

Waratahs vs Chiefs - Rotorua

Saturday February 13

Force vs Asia Pacific Dragons - nib Stadium

Thursday February 18

Rebels vs Samoa - AAMI Park

Friday February 19

Waratahs vs Highlanders - Queenstown