The appointment of Kiwi Robbie Deans has brought a bonus to grassroots rugby in Australia, with Wallabies being sent back to their clubs to compete this weekend.
That means Phil Waugh and Dean Mumm will be turning out as flankers for Sydney University when they take on Southern Districts at University No.1 Oval on Saturday.
While Mumm was a regular fixture at second-row or on the side of the University scrum until forcing his way into the NSW Waratahs this season, representative commitments, injury and Wallaby coaching philosophies have prevented Waugh from playing club rugby the 2005 grand final.
However, he has attended club matches whenever possible and always runs the water for First Grade when unable to play. That’s not the case this weekend, and he’s raring to go.
“There is certainly that connection between Wallabies and clubs and it’s exciting we’re getting that connection back,” Waugh told The Daily Telegraph’s Iain Payten yesterday. “Over the past few years we have seen a bit of division between club rugby and the higher levels. A lot of us are looking forward to going back to club rugby.”
Waugh will be helping to keep a winning streak alive at University Oval – the Students last loss at home was to Warringah in the third round of the 2005 season.
The run almost came to an end two weeks ago when the Students had to come from behind to defeat Eastwood on the bell.
But the Students had no troubles in disposing on Southern Districts 48-7 on the Round 11 clash last weekend (report to come).