They missed the finals in what was a disappointing 2016 season for the Waratahs but signs are already looking good this year according to one of their Wallabies.
Lock, Dean Mumm has pulled on the blue jersey more times than most with 101 Super Rugby caps and has liked what he's seen since returning for pre-season last week.
“We’re further ahead than we were last year which is good, we play in just under a week (trial game in Mudgee),” Mumm said.
"I’m quite confident in the way we’re looking in terms of the structures and the scope of how we want to play, we’re a long way down the line from where you need to be at this time of year.
“It’s all looking really positive and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
The 32-year-old suggesting the side is beginning to reap the rewards from the seeds sewn by coach, Daryl Gibson during his first year in charge of the side.
“It takes a little while for any coaches initiatives to take hold, I think towards the back end of last year we started to see it,” Mumm said.
“He was trying to initiate more of a team based leadership takeover, rather than it being coach driven and it takes a little while for those things to take hold.
“After a year it’s easier for people to understand it and I think we’ll see the benefits come from it this year.”
A former assistant at the Waratahs and the Crusaders, Gibson took over from Michael Cheika at the start of last year.
“Daryl’s a pretty relaxed guy and that’s nice to work under,” Mumm said.
“It’s not say there’s a lack of detail and focus, but he would have learned a lot from his first year as head coach as we did about him and come second year there’s a lot to gain from that.”
Meanwhile, the Waratahs have announced batyr and Cancer Council NSW as two new charity partners for the year.
Waratahs’ Prop Paddy Ryan is a batyr ambassador, which is an organisation focused on youth mental health and providing programs that help and educate young people on the services and support available to them.
“I’ve been involved with batyr for four or five years and they’re a great organisation, they’re awesome in the later years of education and into tertiary study,” Ryan said.
“They’re awesome at breaking down the stigma involved with mental health.”
“As soon as a big fella like Paddy Ryan gets up there and says 'I care about my mental health and it’s okay to have these conversations', it gives young people the permission to do the same,” batyr CEO, Sam Refshauge said.
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