Cheika's Tahs aiming high

Tue, 15 Oct 2013 06:58
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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika says that his team are aiming for a top two finish and their first Super Rugby title next season.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika says that his team are aiming for a top two finish and their first Super Rugby title next season.

The Sydney side got into the swing of things on their first day back for the 2014 Super Rugby season on Monday, with a get together at the Moore Park Golf Club.

Players and staff hit the driving range and had plenty of people ducking for cover, with partnership executive Lachie Britt and scrumhalf Brendan McKibbin sharing the honours for the longest drive.

Coach Cheika was also in driving mode, calling on his players to improve on last year's performances.

Cheika’s goals are lofty for a Waratahs side that finished ninth this year.

"We want a top two finish and then win our first ever Super Rugby title," he said.   

"To do that we need to be passionate and consistent. We have to dominate the physical battle and be committed to our ball in hand style of rugby and above all never give up," he added.   

Seven new signings are already training, in Kurtley Beale, Matt Carraro, Talalelei Gray, Tolu Latu, David Horwitz, Alofa Alofa and Jono Lance.

Nick Phipps comes onboard after his Wallaby commitments and South Africa's Jacques Potgieter will join the team early in the new year. The coach has another two tight five spots up for grabs to complete the 35 man roster for 2014.

Lance, from the Reds, is the only player in the squad that has won a Super Rugby title and Cheika said that the rest of the players can learn a lot about winning from him.

The Canberra-born playmaker was reluctant to claim the glory but said: "There's no reason why the Waratahs couldn't do the same with our roster."

Back home after two years with the Melbourne Rebels, Beale gives the Waratahs plenty of backline options, the 24-year-old at home in both the 10 and 15 jumper.

"I'm delighted to be back and happy to play wherever the coach wants me," said Beale, who is recovering from shoulder surgery but will undertake a full off-season and pre-season training program for the first time in a number of years.

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