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Participants in the NSW Rugby Union’s TracTah program assembled in Sydney over the weekend to continue their position specific training.
The program that identifies young, tight five players from the Under 12 age group and upwards inducts young tight five players into the Waratah Way and provides the training for them to play high level rugby in the future.
TracTahs Coach and NSW Coach Education & Pathways Manager Matthew Evrard says that 60 players came to Sydney for the full day session and learnt not only about technique but the values associated with being a Waratah.
“The players came in for testing and gym sessions along with coaching but we also spoke to them at length about what it means to be a Waratah off the field,” Evrard said.
“We want the young players to understand the values we have as an organisation and what that means both on and off the field.
“We want them to know that they are accountable for their actions and so we spoke about showing respect and what we expect in their behaviour if they want to be a part of the Waratah’s and it made a big impression on all of them.”
In the TracTah program players with potential to play in the tight five are identified early through pathway programs and through the state and country championships, in a program that is open to all.
“We have both boys and girls in the system and young players coming from five different cultural backgrounds, all joining together to be part of the system,” Evrard said.
“We spoke to the players about the pathways that were open to them to continue making into high level teams and in many cases, they were excited to learn about the opportunities that are now there for them.”
“The boys now know they don’t have to come from a traditional rugby school to make it to rep level and the girls were shown how they can move from junior rugby through to seniors and into the rep teams that could lead to selection in the Wallaroos.”
While there are no guarantees the players now in training with the TracTahs will be guaranteed selection in high level teams that’s not the only point to the program.
“What we want to see is that the standard of tight five play is raised by these players going back to their clubs and passing on what they’ve learned through this program,” Evrard said.
“If we can continue to see this knowledge being applied we’ll see some real results in the future.”
The next TracTah assembly takes place on June 1. For any enquires about NSW TracTahs program contact: Matthew Evrard firstname.lastname@example.org