Wallaroo mentoring next generation

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Margaret Watson has played in three Women’s Rugby World Cups for Australia and now the Test hooker is imparting her knowledge on the next generation.

Watson has been mentoring the forwards in the NSW U17 BMW Junior Gold Cup squad and the experience has left with her with an unprecedented headache, helping to whittle the wider squad down.

“It’s tough obviously because you’ve got to find new combinations and things like that,” she said.

“The best player might not necessarily make the best combination between the groups with Women’s Rugby haven’t had selection dramas so much.

“When you get to Wallaroos there is but at NSW country and hunter haven’t really had a multitude of players.”

“Dealing with vast numbers of junior boys rugby has been a bit of a challenge for me.

“You always try and look for the best side of every player and now I have to change my view to what could split them and who you going to take.”

Watson plays down her successful history but once the squad got wind of her background, she was happy to offer insights.

“It was good to be able to be like, ‘When we’re in camp this is what we had to do,’” she said.

“When they were whinging about recovery I’d say at least you’re not in an ice bath or something like that.”

While she played down her own playing success, Watson was keen to pump up the versatility of her forward pack ahead of the interstate stoush.

“We do have a good mix of size and mobility in forwards,” she said.

“Big tighthead props to help us along and one of the Rams’ second rowers has a lot of size to offer the  pack expecting to see them dominate the Queensland pack early on.

“There’s been balls spinning wide in training sessions and trial games on the weekend, so once the backs get the ball we’re going to see a lot of movement but the team needs to be going forward first.”

The NSW BMW Junior Gold Cup sides take on their counterparts from Queensland at Cranbrook Grammar School in Sydney this Saturday 2 April kicking off at 2.30pm.