The Waratahs aim to give captain Chris Whitaker the perfect send-off by hosting the Vodacom Super 14 final in Sydney on 27 May.
The ‘Tahs went top of the log on points difference after the Stormers stunned the Crusaders at Newlands. Whitaker’s team plays the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday, before taking on the Hurricanes at home.
‘Tahs hooker Adam Freier said it would be a dream come true to have the final in Sydney.
“I get goosebumps saying it, but it would be amazing to have Whits’ last game as the Super 14 final in Sydney in front of our fans,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. “That’s certainly something that we can use as motivation. To have him as captain and see him out, it’s really jumping the gun to say it, but that would be phenomenal.”
Coach Ewen McKenzie has asked the team to honour Whitaker with a strong game against the Highlanders – his 115th for NSW, equalling Matt Burke’s record.
“Selfless people like Whits need to be rewarded because they don’t actually reward themselves, so we’re conscious of trying to finish the season off and not come up short,” McKenzie said. “I chose to highlight equalling the record because I knew he’d be embarrassed this week breaking it.
“I know deep down he’d love to finish off as captain in a good way. [But] he’s not going to say that and he’s never going to ask the team to do it on his behalf.”