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Wednesday Apr 10, 2024

Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase dropped ahead of rugby union exit

Wallabies winger, Mark Nawaqanitawase has been dropped from the NSW Waratahs squad ahead of their clash with the Crusaders on Friday night.

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Head coach, Darren Coleman, has had some serious decisions to make after losing five matches on the trot, with his side currently sitting third from bottom, just above their opponents the Crusaders who have a game in hand. Despite their poor run of form, their is a glimmer of hope leading up to Friday’s game, with the Waratahs now boasting a fully stocked backline.

“This week we have all of our contracted backs available which is unheard of.” Coleman said. “As a result, we’ve got some good players missing out. It’s been a big headache in our backline but a good headache to have.”

Coleman elected to offer the number 14 shirt to Randwick’s Triston Reilly (who incidentally played for NRL’s Wests Tigers last season) instead of the departing international, saying:

“Triston deserves his chance … his effort areas like kick-chase and defence are really strong and I’m looking forward to what he can provide us this weekend.”

Reds coach Les Kiss also recalled Wallabies winger Suliasi Vunivalu after he was benched for the Brumbies clash.

“We are fortunate with our stocks at No.10 but also aware of the player management needed over a long season,” Kiss said.

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“Both are getting invaluable experience and playing plenty of minutes. Suli returns on the wing … we have given consideration to player management with Mac (Grealy), who has played a lot of minutes and will give us his flair in the back end of the game.”

Mark Nawaqanitawase

The young Australian winger has been one of the few shining lights in the gold of the Wallabies in recent times, with fans expressing their disappointment when it was announced that he would be exiting for the increasingly popular National Rugby League. Such has been his quality in struggling Waratahs and Wallabies sides, Nawaqanitawase has even picked up rave reviews from former great, David Campese.

Despite the disappointment for Australian rugby fans, there remains a glimmer of hope for a potential return. The door could still be open for Nawaqanitawase to rejoin the Waratahs and the Wallabies in 2027 when Australia is set to host the Rugby World Cup. This would offer a chance for redemption and reconciliation with the fans who will surely be keenly watching the young winger’s career in the NRL.

Starting XV

Hayden Thompson-Stringer,Julian Heaven, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Lachlan Swinton, Charlie Gamble, Langi Gleeson, Jake Gordon (c), Tane Edmed, Dylan Pietsch, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Triston Reilly, Max Jorgensen

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Replacements

Theo Fourie, Lewis Ponini*, Tom Ross, Miles Amatosero, Hugh Sinclair, Jack Grant, Will Harrison, Joey Walton

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