Skelton relishing Reds challenge

Date published: June 10 2015

Waratahs lock Will Skelton can't wait to return from suspension when his side host the Reds in Sydney on Saturday.

It is likely Skelton will replace veteran second-row Mitch Chapman, who is battling a few niggling injuries ahead of the final regular round match of the season.

Skelton will come up against fellow Test hopefuls Rob Simmons and James Horwill, with the latter playing his final game in the Reds jumper.

And while the contest between the international players excites Skelton, he doesn’t see the match as more important than any other.

"Yeah it’s always an exciting match-up," Skelton told the Waratahs' official website

"I always love playing against quality locks and quality opposition so I’m excited to play against these boys again.

"The coach watches every game that the Aussie teams play and I guess it’s just another matchup this week against quality opposition so that’s the way I’m looking at this game.

"It’s James’ last game and Will’s last game so they’re just going to come out firing and I’m really looking forward to the battle it’s going to be a tough one."

Having been rubbed out of the Waratahs’ two match tour of South Africa by SANZAR for his part in a dangerous tackle along with Tolu Latu on Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock, Skelton said he was raring to go after a restless past fortnight.

"Yeah it is [difficult] watching the boys over there; they played well there in the second game. It will be good to get back on the park," he added.

"I’m always like that [restless], even on the bench. I’m pretty jittery. I’m always moving around.

"Your heart wants to be out there with the boys but they are things you can’t control and hopefully I can get on the pitch now and contribute where I can.

"I had some buddies [at home to train with] – Taf [Tatafu Polota-Nau], Tolu [Latu] and Horny [Rob Horne] came late. We trained hard back here and I’m just hoping to get to the level that the boys are at now."

After arguably playing his most physical match in a blue jersey before being suspended for two weeks, Skelton said that he hadn’t thought too much about the charge and wouldn’t look to change his aggressive nature.

"I haven’t thought about it much," he said. 

"I’ve put it behind me. I served the two weeks and the judiciary found that I was still guilty so I copped that on the chin and moving forward I think I’ll bring the same intensity that I have every game that I have played.

"I don’t think I’ve changed this year how I’ve played and I guess the tackle was a dangerous thing, but moving into this week I’m really looking forward to just being out there again and I guess getting the vibe from the boys."