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Inspirational Harrison set for first Super Rugby match in 707 days as Tahs out to snap 'frustrating' run

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26th March, 2024
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As the Waratahs attempt to end three weeks of “frustrating” narrow defeats against the Rebels in Sydney on Friday night, Will Harrison is set to make his long-awaited return to Super Rugby.

The Roar can reveal that Harrison is set to come off the bench as a utility option for the Waratahs.

Should he take to the field, it will be the first time he wears the Waratahs jersey in a Super Rugby match in 707 days after his sickening leg injury against the Chiefs in April 2022.

Since then, Harrison has been plagued by more leg injuries, including suffering a devastating ACL injury midway through last season.

At one point there were great fears that Harrison wouldn’t play again.

But the inspirational young utility back, who was included in Dave Rennie’s initial Wallabies squad in 2020, has never shied away from returning to the field and has played for the Waratahs ‘B’ side and Randwick in recent weeks.

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Will Harrison is set to make his long-awaited return to Super Rugby on Friday night. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

With Tane Edmed set to continue in the No.10 jersey and Max Jorgensen to feature at fullback, Harrison will likely feature at some point in the second half.

His return gives Coleman another gun goal-kicker up his sleeve.

Both Edmed and Harrison spent time slotting goal and dropping field goal attempts on Tuesday after their heartbreaker in Lautoka.

It came after Edmed for the second time in three matches missed a late shot at goal to win the match for the Waratahs.

After his post-siren match-winning penalty attempt was pushed across the goals against the Highlanders earlier this month, Edmed was rushed into a field goal effort against the Drua after the Waratahs impatiently didn’t set up properly in golden point.

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First-year Waratahs lock Miles Amatosero said concentrating on fixing the “little things right” in their game would go a long way in turning their season around after claiming just one win from their opening five matches.

“It’s pretty frustrating because we’re so close,” he said.

“I just think it’s those little decisions, even though they might be little mistakes, they’re enough to dictate a game, so it’s about fixing that little minor decision, which you might not think is a big deal, [but is important to] getting those things right.

“We’re probably just a centimetre off. We’re in a real good energy, a real good space to move forward and beat these top teams. Every week I think we’re getting better and better and it’s exciting to see where we’re going to go from here.”

The Waratahs suffered another gut-wrenching loss over the weekend, as they went down in golden point to the Fiji Drua. (Photo by Pita Simpson/Getty Images)

Despite their irritating start to the year, Amatosero said they weren’t panicking.

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“I don’t think we ever want to panic, but we’ve definitely got a clear goal and know what we need to do throughout the week and what achievements we need to hit,” he said.

“We’ve got to come out firing [against the Rebels].

“We’re definitely a team that might be able swing things in the later half, but if we come out ready to go, guns blazing from the beginning, foot on the front, don’t even give them a chance to play.”

Making Friday night’s clash against the Rebels all the more difficult is the energy-sapping conditions they slogged through on Saturday.

Amatosero played down the fatigue factor, but the big-name recruit, who spent his first few seasons in the French Top 14 and has drawn some comparisons to Will Skelton, admitted the pace of Super Rugby was something he was still adjusting to.

“I’m still finding my feet with the game and trying to build my confidence every week, but I think it’s heading in the right direction and I’m getting more excited to play each week.” he said.

“It’s definitely a way quicker game. There’s not much downtime in between lineouts and scrums. You’ve got to stay on the ball and it’s very easy to miss the jump if you’re not on it.”

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