Coleman shares thoughts on young U19 talent impressing in Waratahs’ trials
With the 2024 Super Rugby season still a few months away, Waratahs coach Darren Coleman has used a two match trial series against NSW Pasifika to get a closer look at some of the best young talent developing through the NSW Rugby Pathways.
On the back of making the final of the Super Rugby U19s competition earlier this year, a number of development players have been picked to train and play with the Waratahs this summer.
We spoke to Coleman earlier this week, in between the two trial matches to find out what he thought about some of the new talent pushing through the Waratahs development pathway.
Austin Durbidge – Flanker
“Austin had a great 2023 playing for Kings and we were excited to get him in after watching him perform well for the Australian Schoolboys.
“He’s a really impressive, on the ball No.7. He’s built well already and he has an extremely professional attitude so I think he’s got a lot of upside.
“We played him at No.6 last week against NSW Pasifika and he didn’t look out of place.
“He’s linked with Sydney Uni and he’ll be come we keep a close eye on throughout 2024.”
Archie Saunders – Outside Back
“We’re really excited about Archie, he’s a pretty unique sort of player and he scored three tries in 30 minutes for us last week,” Coleman said.
“He’s a Warringah boy who went to school at Knox. He’s 19, well over 6 foot, built well and is lightning quick. There aren’t many players like him out there.”
Ollie McCrea – Lock
“Ollie is an Illawarra boy who plays his rugby at Easts now. He’s a 6’6 lock that already weighs 119kg, which is hard to find.
“He was in the Junior Wallabies squad this year and has another chance again next year and was really impressive for our U19s over the last few months.”
Arnie Tancred – Lock
“Arnie is from Orange and his family are Waratah royalty. Both his grandpa and great uncle were Waratahs and Wallabies back in the day so it’s great to have him in here with us.
“Another big forward who impressed for the U19s. He’s a bit of a hybrid No.6/lock and he’s one of those big rugged forwards that can be hard to find.”
“He’s still learning his craft but he seems to be really benefitting from his time training with the top squad.”
“Julian was captain of our U19s this year and he’s impressed us more and more over the last few weeks. He wasn’t a schoolboy star and didn’t make a lot of rep teams, but we’ve really liked what we’ve seen of him when he’s been with us.”
Luke Doheny – Lock
“Luke had a great season with Eastwood colts and also played with the Eastwood U18s at the NSW State Champs earlier this year.
“He’s another from a bit of a different pathway and he’s still growing so he’ll face a good test on Friday night against a fairly strong Pasifika side with quite a bit of first grade Shute Shield experience.”