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Changes spark optimism among Tahs rugby

New coaches, ideas and headquarters are helping the NSW Waratahs banish the demons of their disastrous 2017 Super Rugby campaign.

The Tahs had a 4-11 record last year, but a raft of changes have prompted a sense of optimism.

A bunch of new players, the appointment of highly regarded Simon Cron as the new forwards coach and their own training base are all helping to remove the bad memories of last year.

“We’ve got a new setup, new gym, new facilities, a training field that’s our own, that we don’t have to share with anyone, so it’s been a real clean slate,” Waratahs and Wallabies prop Tom Robertson said.

“It’s tough coming in here every day knowing that we’re going to get flogged (at training), but at the same time it’s been great to leave all the demons behind in the old place.”

It didn”t take Robertson long after he returned to training to learn the Tahs had ramped up their fitness

“I was normally at the front of the forwards during fitness, then I came and I’m in the bottom half,” he said.

Cron has introduced drills Robertson said he had never done before.

“It’s exciting to have some new fresh faces and ideas about scrummaging,” Robertson said.

“Cronny is doing a lot of work on our timing and cohesiveness.

“That’s part of the game we definitely needed from 2017, was that cohesiveness.

”Working more as a forward pack, as an eight.

“Instead of firing a couple of bullets at a time and not really firing that cannon is the description he uses, using your whole eight at one single time rather than just one guy pushing hard at one stage.”

Robertson had big raps on the Tahs’ latest recruit, former New Zealand Under 20s hooker JP Sauni.

“When you have a guy that has that much speed and power around the field, and he can scrum and throw a lineout, it just makes an all round front rower and they are very hard to come by,” he said.

“A guy like (Wallabies’ hooker) Tatafu Polota-Nau springs to mind, he reminds me of him a lot.

“If we can get him good training and put him around the right people, I cant see why he can’t be like Tatafu as well.”

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