Super Rugby Pacific: The return of Ned Hanigan and Paddy Ryan welcomed by Waratahs

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Prop Angus Bell is delighted to see the return of the experienced Paddy Ryan and Ned Hanigan, who have joined up the Waratahs squad for their Super Rugby Pacific play-off push.

Hanigan is a 21-Test Wallaby, while Ryan is a centurion with the Waratahs adding crucial knowhow to the squad.

The Waratahs turn their attention to the Hurricanes this weekend and are in search of three wins on the bounce in what has been a much improved season.

Squad boost

Bell says the arrival of the two experienced campaigners has already been felt in training and has raised the intensity in the squad.

“It just adds to the standard of training – as soon as they came in they had an immediate impact,” Bell told reporters.

“You could just feel the competition within the squad and also the intensity just lift again.

“It’s been nothing but positive and plus those two are just top blokes… it’s great to have them both in the squad.”

After the clash with the Hurricanes, the Waratahs face the Highlanders in New Zealand and then host the table-topping Blues as they search for a home quarter-final that is “critical”.

“I think it’s critical to our season,” Bell said.

“We started this year with a mentality of looking down the ladder but now we’re of the mentality that we’re looking up, we want to see how far we can go, how deep we can get in this competition – we want to win it.

“And we think through getting the home final at Leichhardt or somewhere in Sydney would be the best opportunity to do that so we’re really pushing hard for that top four spot.”

Australian counterparts, the Brumbies, managed to beat the Hurricanes and Waratahs centre Lalakai Foketi says his team is looking to learn from the Canberra team’s performance.

“We’ve definitely looked at how the Brumbies nullified their opportunities,” he said.

“We know they can score points from all over the field and they’re the lowest kicking team in the competition so we know they’ll run from everywhere so we’ve got to be alert.”

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