There’s no doubting a rejuvenated Super Rugby competition in 2022 has gone a long way to excite the followers of the sport across Australia and the Pacific.
Coming out of a COVID-19 environment, the first full non-interrupted season of the Super Rugby Pacific competition has brought about plenty of fast-paced action on the field, as well seeing crowds back in the stands to cheer on their favourite team.
The NSW Waratahs are one such club who are beginning to get back into a routine as the pandemic subsides, with fans at the forefront of their minds.
“It’s been a challenging couple of years in sports and especially at the Waratahs and in Super Rugby. From playing in empty and restricted capacity venues to being in a bubble and not being able to interact with the public COVID has made it difficult to engage and connect with our fans,” Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn told gilbertrugby.com.au.
“We have tried our best to engage with our fan base when restrictions have lifted like our trip to the Central West Region of NSW in 2021 and have also restarted our school visits in 2022.
“What Darren Coleman has also tried to do over the past 12 months is to become a team and play a style of rugby that people are proud to support. No matter what the result will be, you can guarantee that our team will turn up and play a style of rugby that our fans will be proud of.”
The Waratahs’ fine work on the field was on full display as the club pulled off a shock win over the Crusaders on the final Saturday in April.
“Super Rugby Pacific has been a breath of fresh air for the code in the Pacific, with the inclusion of the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika,” Doorn explained.
“We’re pleased with our progress through the competition to date, but we are under no illusions about what awaits us at the back end of the tournament.
“Our defence has improved markedly this year and our squad is developing genuine depth which is incredibly pleasing and evident by the selection of ten Waratahs in Dave Rennie’s first Wallabies squad of the year.”
Club rugby got underway in April with the 2022 season looming as one of the most exciting after countless disruptions since the coronavirus wave in 2020.
And the Waratahs are making sure to put plenty of energy into the grassroots as they continue to push rugby across the state of New South Wales.
“Ordinarily our ‘Touchable Heroes’ campaign is in full swing with players doing plenty of community appearances from Junior and School visits to assembly presentations and come and try days,” Doorn said.
“Unfortunately, Covid restrictions have once again curtailed a number of these activities. However, with restrictions easing these are about to kick off again with the first ones being a visit to clubs on the Far North Coast affected by the floods.
“Darren Coleman also ensures non match day players are released back to their local Shute Shield clubs to play club rugby.”
The relationship between the Waratahs and Gilbert continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the Dimension ball being a favourite across the club and local community.
“The Waratahs and NSW Rugby use Gilbert products because they are best in class, are so durable to withstand the rigours of our sport and have such a wide array of options from grassroots to the professional game.”