Five Shute Shield stars making the jump to Super Rugby in 2021
The silly season has finally ended and while summer is still in full swing, the official start to the 2021 rugby season is only six weeks away.
While the Shute Shield isn’t scheduled to begin until mid April, Super Rugby begins on February 19 and a number of club stars are in line to make the jump from club rugby to Super Rugby when it does.
The Waratahs are yet to name their official squad and are still expected to announce some more signings in the coming weeks.
Late last year Sio Tatola (Manly), Laurence Tominiko (Souths), Michael Icely (Eastwood), Brooklyn Hardaker (Randwick), Nathan Russel (Norths) and Max Burey (Norths) all spent time training with the Tahs full time squad.
Five players have been officially named to make the jump to Super Rugby though and will get a chance to impress their respective coaches in trial matches beginning on January 30.
Jack Grant – Eastern Suburbs
26-year old Grant finally gets a chance to wear Sky Blue after starring for Easts and then NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan in recent years.
Grant led Easts to a preliminary final in 2020 and will look to use his speed and attacking flare to play his way into the Waratahs matchday 23.
Tane Edmed – Eastwood
Eastwood’s star 20-year old flyhalf was promoted to the full time Waratahs squad after leading the Woodies to within a whisker of a Shute Shield premiership.
Edmed showed maturity and class well beyond his age, particularly towards the back end of the season.
He’ll challenge Will Harrison for the starting No.10 jersey early this year.
Tim Anstee – Eastwood
After returning to Eastwood when the World Sevens series was cancelled, Anstee proved he was a class above in club land and was quickly snapped up by the Western Force ahead of the 2021 season.
Anstee’s Sevens background will suit the style of rugby played in Super Rugby AU and the backrower will add further variety to a Force forward pack that has been bolstered by some big Argentinian recruits.
Archer Holz – Eastern Suburbs
The 20-year old Beasties prop was arguably the find of the 2020 Shute Shield season and played his way into the Brumbies Super Rugby squad after starting the year training with colts at Woollahra.
While Holz still has some developing to do, training alongside Wallabies Alan Alaalatoa, Scott Sio and James Slipper certainly won’t hurt.
Lachie Anderson – Eastwood
Like Tim Anstee, Anderson returned to Eastwood after spending several years in the Australian Sevens program and did enough to convince the Melbourne Rebels that he has what it takes to make it in the XV man game.
Anderson grew up playing in the backrow but will continue his transition to the outside backs in Melbourne.