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Tahs dare to dream: SBW tops triple-header hit list


Greg Growden


Waratahs wish list ... Sonny Bill Williams and Phil Blake.

Waratahs wish list ... Sonny Bill Williams and Phil Blake.

A SENIOR NSW official is involved in an audacious plan to create a 2013 Waratahs dream team revolving around Ewen McKenzie, Phil Blake and Sonny Bill Williams.

The Sun-Herald has been told a high-profile Waratahs official has, in conjunction with several rugby powerbrokers and at least two player managers, been working on bringing back McKenzie as head coach, installing Blake as his assistant and signing dual international Williams as their marquee player.

This dramatic development is understood to be a major reason why there has been a delay in the announcement of the Waratahs coach to replace Michael Foley.

Those involved in trying to revive the ailing franchise, after a dreadful season where the Tahs slumped to 11th spot, realise they need big names to bring back the crowds. And they know the return of McKenzie, who took the Queensland Reds to a Super Rugby title last year after being dumped by NSW in 2008, will excite local supporters - especially as many firmly believe he has been the best Waratahs coach of the professional era. Also the sight of Williams in the Waratahs colours would lead to sell-out home games.

Williams, who starred in the centres for the All Blacks in their recent victories over the Wallabies, is expected to appear for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL next year on a handshake deal, but sources say there ''is a hiccup''. If the Tahs landed Williams, he would be listed as an import, meaning the Tahs would punt out-of-favour South African halfback Sarel Pretorius.

The push for former NRL player Blake to move to the Waratahs is also strong, after filling the role of caretaker coach at Western Force following Richard Graham's departure to the Reds. Blake was a Wallabies assistant coach for several years.

The Waratahs official involved in this plan has deliberately kept it secret from several members of the coaching selection panel. All that is being said is there are ''two more coaching interviews to go''.

And it appears McKenzie is in demand on several fronts at the Waratahs. Sources confirmed there was recently a concerted push from other influential NSW rugby figures for McKenzie to be the Waratahs' next chief executive officer, taking over from Jason Allen. But Waratahs supporters should not yet start celebrating the possibility of McKenzie and Williams being at Moore Park in 2013. There are many hurdles.

For Williams to be lured to NSW, it would require massive third-party deals, and this would put the Waratahs in conflict with the ARU, which frowns on such arrangements. Also the Waratahs could not ask the ARU for a contractual top-up, because Williams, by representing the All Blacks, is not eligible to play for the Wallabies.

What's more, McKenzie is firmly entrenched at the Reds, where he has been very happy with their administrative structure. He is also probably waiting to see how Robbie Deans fares during the Rugby Championship, because if the Test team continues to falter, there is a strong possibility that McKenzie will be the next Wallabies coach.

The delay in the Waratahs head coach announcement has caused major dramas at head office. Numerous members of this season's Waratahs staff are concerned about their future. They are unimpressed in not getting any answers from the hierarchy. Several are unhappy to be told by a Waratahs administrator: ''You blokes are lucky to still have a job, so leave me to do mine.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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