Wounded Warringah skipper Hamish Angus desperate to play in decider

Warringah captain and flyhalf Hamish Angus looks set to return from injury in time for this Saturday’s Shute Shield grand final against Northern Suburbs.

The two time Catchpole Medal winner suffered a quad strain playing against Southern Districts back in round 17 and has been forced to watch on as his beloved Rats beat Randwick and Manly to book a spot in this weekend’s decider.

“I did a rehab run on Sunday and a light team training run last night and it held up pretty good, so we’ll keep working on it through the week and hopefully it holds together,” Angus said.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be starting yet. I guess it will depend on how I go towards the end of the week and what DC wants to do, but I certainly hope I’m involved in some way or another.”

34-year old former London Irish playmaker Myles Dorrian has worn Angus’ No.10 jersey in recent weeks and while the skipper admitted he would like to start on Saturday, a stint from the bench may also be a possibility.

“Myles has been fantastic since he came to the club halfway through this year, particularly in the last three weeks. It’s great to have another experienced head in the group at this time of the season,” Angus said.

“As a supporter of the club, it’s just been great to be a part of and as much as it hurt to watch last weekend from the sideline, it was still an unbelievable day.

“It’s been quite humbling to see how the club has come together this year and how the community has got behind us, so it’s a special time to be involved.”

After beating Manly in front of more than 10,000 fans at Rat Park on Saturday, Warringah will play in their first grand final in 11 years, a feat few thought was possible a few years back.

“There’s a core group of us that were here back when we were struggling to win any games across all grades,” he said.

“But this year, our girls beat a strong Sydney Uni side to win their comp, then we had six of our seven grade and colts sides in the finals, with two in the grand final, so I think it would have to be the best year in the club’s history.

“As you saw last week, you can see how much it means to our loyal supporters so it’s a really exciting time to be part of the club.”

While the Rats have been in the mix in recent years, Angus said the side’s mentality has changed this year under new coach Darren Coleman.

“I think it’s the fourth year in a row that we’ve been in the finals and that momentum has instilled a bit of belief within the squad that we belong at the top end of the ladder.

“DC (Darren Coleman) came to the club this year and we worked really hard through the preseason on our fitness and structures and that has made a big difference towards the end the season.”

Known as a side that can score from anywhere, Coleman has managed to tighten the Rats defence this year, without losing Warringah’s trademark attacking spark.

“We want to be a physical side and make dominant tackles and that has been a major focus this year. We want to use defence as attack and we’ve done that in recent weeks,” Angus said.

“Our two wins over Manly this year have been on the back of our defence and I think that’s been the difference this year.”

While Angus wasn’t around for Warringah’s last premiership in 2005, the flyhalf recently hosted a reunion lunch for the premiership side.

“Cam Treloar, who will be on the bench for us this week, was the captain of the side that day and he, Dan Raymond and Brett Sheehan spoke about winning the comp at Rat Park against Sydney Uni and it sounded pretty similar to what we saw at Rat Park on Saturday with everyone storming the field,” he said.

“Norths are at home this week but we don’t mind that, it will add to the spectacle. If you want to win a comp, you need to beat the best sides and we’ve got a chance to play the reigning premiers this weekend, so it’s pretty exciting.”

Both the Warringah and Northern Suburbs sides will be named tomorrow.

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