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Will Skelton right at home in Auckland

'Home' game: Will Skelton offloads in the Waratahs' loss to the Force.

'Home' game: Will Skelton offloads in the Waratahs' loss to the Force. Photo: Getty Images

While the rest of the Waratahs brace themselves for the Eden Park blowtorch, Will Skelton thinks he is preparing for a "home game" at the Blues' fortress.

The towering Waratahs second-rower spent the first 10 years of his life in Auckland and still has relatives in the north island city.

Although a young Skelton preferred league to rugby, he watched his cousin Brad Mika, who played three Tests for the All Blacks, play at Eden Park and went there most weekends to watch him play in the National Provincial Championship.

"I have a lot of family in Auckland, it will feel like a home game for me," Skelton said.

"I haven't played [in New Zealand] since I was young, it should be good to go back home and see my family and play in front of them."

This time he goes back as one of the Waratahs' biggest talents, in every sense of the word.

Skelton, the youngest member of the run-on side, makes his third consecutive start in the second row and has promised to bring his 135-kilogram frame – "140 kilograms on game day" – to bear for the fourth-placed side this week.

"It will be a tough encounter. They're a physical team with a bit of head-wobble out on the wings and in the centres," he said.

"If we just hold on to the ball and stick to our game plan we can try to get the result over there."

Skelton has produced his own fair share of head-wobble this season as he comes of age in the NSW pack.

With No.8 Wycliff Palu's workload being managed, Jacques Potgieter has been a regular starter at No.6, leaving Skelton to his own devices alongside Kane Douglas in the second row.

Skelton said the side had spent a considerable amount of time  making a weapon of their set piece work.

"Like most teams we play we try to put pressure on at set piece," he said.

"This week they have an All Black front row and that's going to be a test for us but ... our focus this week has been pressure at set piece so if we work on that the result should come our way."

That means more of what Waratahs fans love – Skelton carrying and offloading while defenders swarm around him like gnats.

"Cheik' backs our ability and he knows that if I have the strength to ball-play then he's not going to hold me back from doing that," he said.

"But I have to go forward before I can try and do those fancy passes ... It would be a waste if I went out there and just tried to be fancy. I've got a big body and I have to use that for my team."

14 comments so far

  • The Tahs should wallop the Blues. The Blues are only one of those weak conference kiwi teams after all. I don't know why NZ is allowed so many teams in the Super XV comp, they clearly don't have enough depth in the Land of the Perpetual Dark Cloud to have 5 competitive teams. Priceless, if I say so myself.

    Commenter
    johnny-boy
    Date and time
    April 24, 2014, 7:04AM
    • Yeah right but then when you take out the Kiwis in the Australian Super rugby teams, only the Brumbies will be competitive. The rest will have a hard time beating the Lions and Cheetahs. I suspect however that the Kiwi teams will be too strong if they are reduced by one team and we then won't have a more even Super 15 comp.

      Commenter
      Akari
      Date and time
      April 24, 2014, 10:53AM
    • Yeah that's why your teams load there squads with New Zealanders that miss a super contract then pick them for the wallabies like Harris , kepu , the likes of Woodward at the rebels etc . Nz and sa should leave super rugby and go back and strengthen there domestic comps and leave Aussie rugby to die . That will keep ya happy Johny ya douche

      Commenter
      David
      Date and time
      April 24, 2014, 6:40PM
    • The Blues walloped the Waratahs. The Waratahs are only one of those weak conference Aussie teams after all. I don't know why Australia is allowed so many teams in the Super XV comp, they clearly don't have enough depth in the Land of the perpetual big mouths to have 5 competitive teams. Priceless, if I say so myself.

      Commenter
      Black
      Date and time
      April 25, 2014, 5:32PM
  • yeah, because the force, waratahs and rebels have been stacking super titles like they're going out of fashion...

    Commenter
    ha ha
    Date and time
    April 24, 2014, 9:08AM
    • Happy to hear that Will feels quite at home being back in Auckland ... so now Will can you please put 'em Blues all to bed and wish them nighty night and Tah Tah for all us Tah's supporters. This would be greatly appreciated... Tah muchly.

      Commenter
      Machooka
      Location
      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      April 24, 2014, 12:53PM
      • Watch out Will, Jerome is back & is just starting to hit his "straps", something like that which made him the best No6, in world rugby.

        Commenter
        Muzzo
        Location
        Orange
        Date and time
        April 24, 2014, 2:48PM
        • Hey Muzzo, I am wondering if Skelton still reckons the Blues will be soft. Kaino had a huge game.

          Commenter
          Black
          Date and time
          April 25, 2014, 5:38PM
      • Please David, get off your kiwi high horse. Not just in rugby but kiwis migrate to Australia for a better life, change in lifestyle and greater opportunity. Will Skelton, Woodward and mike harris are no different. Your obviously insecure about this mate, because you're probably a kiwi who's migrated to Australia and can understand why professionals make the trip over the Tasman. It's called globalisation you douche.

        Commenter
        Truth teller
        Date and time
        April 25, 2014, 11:02AM
        • So Johnny boy can write that and I can't reply in kind ?? It's not globalization when you pull players from another country that have played age group for that said country . If you look at my response it was to a smart arse comment about the depth of nz rugby ya simpleton

          Commenter
          David
          Date and time
          April 25, 2014, 1:21PM

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      Super Rugby 2016

      Round 1
      Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
      BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
      Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
      WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
      FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
      Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
      STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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      Round 2
      Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
      BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
      HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
      RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
      CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
      SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
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      Round 3
      Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
      FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
      Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
      Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
      STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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      Round 4
      Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
      WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
      Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
      Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
      RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
      STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
      Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 5
      Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
      Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
      Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
      SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
      Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
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      Round 6
      Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
      Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 0vs CRU 0 04:00Emirates Airlines Park
      BLU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35QBE Stadium
      BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
      BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
      WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
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      Round 7
      Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
      Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
      STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
      HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
      RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
      King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
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      Round 8
      Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
      REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
      BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
      WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
      Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
      LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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      Round 9
      Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
      FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
      STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
      Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
      BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
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      Round 10
      Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs SHA 0 17:35Yarro
      FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
      Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
      BLU 0vs REB 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      LIO 0vs HUR 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
      STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
      Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 11
      Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
      BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
      SHA 0vs HUR 0 23:00GpKP
      Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
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      Round 12
      Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
      WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
      Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
      LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
      Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 13
      Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
      Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
      RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
      CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
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      Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
      BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
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      Round 14
      Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
      WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
      Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
      BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
      BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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      Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs CRU 0 17:35ANZ National Stadium, Suva
      BRU 0vs RED 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs WAR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
      REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
      CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
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      King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
      Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 16
      Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
      BLU 0vs BRU 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
      Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      LIO 0vs King 0 03:00Emirates Airlines Park
      CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
      WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
      FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
      Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
      SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
      Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 17
      Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
      BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
      Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
      CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
      HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
      BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
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      CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
      Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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      Round 18
      Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
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      Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0 0
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      Overall standings
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