Waratahs training with 13 players

Date published: January 12 2017

Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey has revealed his squad is training with 14 men to prepare for playing under the stricter laws this year.

Grey told The Sydney Morning Herald they’ve even dropped their numbers to 13 in order to become familiar with the probability of cards.

“In terms of management from a coach’s perspective, you’ve got to prepare a bit more for having 14 guys on the field because it’s going to happen,” he said.

“They’ve said those accidental things that happen you’re going to get carded for, so you need to prepare that way to have 14 or 13 guys on the field a little bit more. You’ve got to make sure you’re ready for that.”

Grey added that he is a supporter of the changes but hopes that officials follow the same procedure when it comes to punishing players.

“The golden question is the consistency around how they deliver on that,” he said.

“It’s going to be hard, but I think the reasonings around why they’ve done it and why it’s in place is the right reason. They’re trying to do the right things by the players, which is great, and the referees and the administration side of things, they’ve done a really thorough process and they’re delivering it in a way that makes us confident as coaches to say ‘OK, that’s what they’ve said they’re going to be looking at, and what the expectation is around that’.

“There’s going to be some feeling out during the trials and into the first couple of rounds of Super [Rugby], but the consistency is the biggest thing and that’s all you hope for.”