Nanjing Night Net

Waratahs young gun confident of big breakthrough year

WARATAHS rookie Rory Sidey is yet to earn a Super 14 debut but what the 23-year-old centre lacks in experience he makes up for in confidence.The former Junior Waratahs vice-captain has returned home after a breakthrough season with Welsh side Newport Gwent Dragons in the Heineken Cup, where he impressed at inside- and outside-centre.Only six weeks into pre-season training with NSW, the self-assured newcomer has upped the pressure on his fellow centre candidates – including Tom Carter, Rob Horne, Sosene Anesi and Nemani Nadolo – by declaring he’s not scared to take control of the back line.”I like to organise and take a big role on my shoulders and not sit back. And I have spoken to the coaching staff about that,” said the former West Harbour player.”I’ve been working specifically with Scott Wisemantel, the backs coach, and he’s really happy with the way things are going – especially with my leadership skills.”It’s been good for me with a few [Wallabies] away from the back line, I’ve really been thrown in and I’m really starting to feel like I belong here. And I’m starting to lead guys around out wide with Daniel Halangahu, so I’m enjoying it. I am only young, but Berrick Barnes is the same age, and he’s vice-captain of Australia. It’s something I really enjoy.”However, the former Western Sydney Ram knows he needs to win the respect of his teammates before he can throw his weight around. ”That’s my short-term goal, to earn respect. Get on the paddock and train well, and earn respect from the more senior players,” said Sidey.”Next year, my goal is to continue building ahead of the season in the trials and get in that match-day 22.”I know there’s a challenge ahead of me and a lot of good Wallabies. But NSW Waratahs is renowned for that, and that’s what I want to be one day, a Wallaby. So I’m in the best spot to do that.”Coach Chris Hickey acknowledged Sidey’s impressive leadership attributes, and said his versatility and ball skills were just as valuable.”Other than the set piece where you start in a position, once you’re out of that phase of play, people end up all over the paddock, so you need to have players like Rory that can organise from all sorts of positions,” said Hickey, who had earmarked Sidey as a future Waratah even before his departure to Wales.At 188 centimetres and 100 kilograms, Sidey packs a punch in defence and has been noted for his Greg Inglis-like fend.
Nanjing Night Net