Waratahs set piece can still improve

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Passion has been replaced by analytics in the Waratahs front row but prop Paddy Ryan says the Waratahs can continue to improve their set piece.

Cameron Blades has replaced Mario Ledesma as the Waratahs’ set piece coach and Ryan said both had a unique style when it came to leading the group.

“I think Mario’s got what I would assume would be a pretty typical Argentinian approach in that it’s like a lot about passion and a lot of it's about the feel of the scrum,” he said.

“Cameron’s got a more scientific approach, every good at using video analysis and being able to pinpoint little things that might change the way your technique goes.

“It just comes down to that Argentinian versus Australian style and it’s quite typical of where they’re (both) from.”

Ryan will have a major opportunity to step up for the Waratahs in 2016 ,with the departure of tighthead Sekope Kepu to France, and he has confidence in the depth of NSW’s forwards to fill the void left by the 60-cap Wallaby.

“You want to be starting whether Keps is here or not, everyone wants to be starting,” he said.

“We’ve had a good addition come in in Angus Ta’avaou come across from the Blues, so it’s good to have someone come in there.

“We’ve had young blokes come through from the 20s, with Tom Roberts and Matt Sandell stepping up.”

While there seems to be a lot of change in the Waratahs side ahead of 2016, Ryan said that things were more familiar than they seemed.

“Internally being a part of the team doesn’t actually feel like there’s a lot of new faces around,” he said.

“Doesn’t feel like the pack’s changed that much although we have lost a lot of senior players and those blokes will step up and do their job.

“That’s what’s exciting for the boys who get the opportunity.”

Plenty of those younger players will have a chance to shine in this weekend’s trial against the Brumbies against Wagga.

Whatever the line-up, Ryan said they won’t be lacking in competitive hunger.

“No one ever wants to lose - the Brumbies don’t want to lose to us, we don’t want to lose to the Brumbies.

“We‘ve got three hard trials and that’s been done for a reason - to play those three good teams.”