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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 2015

      Round 1
      Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
      BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
      Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
      BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
      BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
      WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
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      Round 2
      Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
      REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
      HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
      RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
      STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
      SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
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      Round 3
      Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
      FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
      Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
      CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
      REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
      Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
      LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
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      Round 4
      Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
      BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
      Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
      RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
      STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
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      Round 5
      Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
      FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
      Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
      HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
      RED vs BRU 29 Stats
      Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
      STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
      CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
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      Round 6
      Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
      REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
      SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
      WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
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      Round 7
      Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
      RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
      Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
      HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
      WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
      Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
      BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
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      Round 8
      Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 25 vs STO 20 Report Stats
      REB 23 vs RED 15 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 23 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
      BRU 20 vs CHT 3 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
      SHA 10 vs CRU 52 Report Stats
      LIO 22 vs BUL 18 Report Stats
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      Round 9
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      BLU 16 vs BRU 14 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 20 vs HIG 25 Report Stats
      WAR 18 vs STO 32 Report Stats
      FOR 15 vs CHT 24 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      LIO 23 vs SHA 21 Report Stats
      BUL 43 vs RED 22 Report Stats
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      Round 10
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 9 vs CHF 26 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      HUR 24 vs WAR 29 Report Stats
      HIG 30 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
      BRU 8 vs REB 13 Report Stats
      FOR 6 vs STO 13 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      SHA 10 vs BUL 17 Report Stats
      CHT 17 vs RED 18 Report Stats
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      Round 11
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 35 vs FOR 27 Report Stats
      BRU 31 vs HIG 18 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 29 vs BLU 15 Report Stats
      WAR 18 vs REB 16 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      LIO 34 vs CHT 29 Report Stats
      STO 15 vs BUL 13 Report Stats
      RED 19 vs HUR 35 Report Stats
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      Round 12
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      HIG vs SHA 17:35FBS
      BRU vs WAR 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU vs FOR 15:30EP
      HUR vs CRU 17:35WS
      REB vs CHF 19:40AAMI
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT vs STO 01:05FSS
      BUL vs LIO 03:10Loftus Versfeld
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      Round 13
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU vs RED 17:35AMI
      REB vs BLU 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR vs SHA 17:35WS
      FOR vs WAR 19:40nib Stadium
      LIO vs HIG 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      STO vs BRU 01:05DHL Newlands
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      Round 14
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU vs BUL 17:35EP
      RED vs REB 19:40SS
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR vs CHF 17:35WS
      WAR vs SHA 19:40AS
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      LIO vs BRU 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
      CHT vs HIG 03:10FSS
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      Round 15
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHF vs BUL 17:35Rotorua International Stadium
      RED vs SHA 19:40SS
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      BLU vs HUR 17:35Emirates Airlines Park
      WAR vs CRU 19:40ANZ
      FOR vs HIG 21:45nib Stadium
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT vs LIO 01:05FSS
      STO vs REB 03:10DHL Newlands
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      Round 16
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU vs HUR 17:35Trafalgar Park
      BRU vs BUL 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      SHA vs REB 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
      HIG vs CHF 17:35Rugby Park
      FOR vs RED 19:40nib Stadium
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      STO vs CHT 01:05DHL Newlands
      LIO vs WAR 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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      Round 17
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      HUR vs HIG 17:35McLean Park
      FOR vs BRU 21:00nib Stadium
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      REB vs BUL 15:30AAMI
      BLU vs CRU 17:35EP
      RED vs CHF 19:40SS
      CHT vs WAR 23:00FSS
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
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      Round 18
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      BLU vs HIG 17:35EP
      REB vs FOR 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      BRU vs CRU 15:30GIO Stadium
      CHF vs HUR 17:35Yarrow Stadium
      WAR vs RED 19:40AS
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      BUL vs CHT 01:05Loftus Versfeld
      SHA vs STO 03:10Growthpoint Kings Park
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      Round 19
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      7 vs 7 09:00
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
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      Round 20
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      Team P W L D +/- Pts
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      Brumbies 10 6 4 0 96 31
      Stormers 10 7 3 0 33 30
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