Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    'Tahs eye league convert Lousi

    2015-02-10 10:50

    Sydney - Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has targeted rugby league convert Sam Lousi as the long-term replacement for lock Kane Douglas, the one significant departure from the squad that won last year's Super Rugby title.

    The work done by the hulking second row trio of Springbok Jacques Potgieter, Will Skelton and Douglas played a large part in building a solid platform for the running game that took the Waratahs to their first championship in August.

    The departure of Douglas for Ireland was a blow not only for the Waratahs but also for the Wallabies, who Cheika will guide into the World Cup this year as well as leading the Super Rugby title defence.

    Cheika also has versatile skipper Dave Dennis returning from injury for the new season but thinks his new recruit Lousi -- a 198cm-tall, 120kg New Zealander - is better suited to fill Douglas's boots.

    "I think that Kane's a bigger, heavier piece of equipment than Dave. Dave's always scrabbling for an extra kilo here or there so I think probably he's at his max," Cheika told reporters on Tuesday.

    "I think the guy we're looking to replace Kane longer term this year is Sam, a tighthead lock who's done well in his first couple of games of rugby and he's improving his workrate and understanding the game a bit more.

    "That might not happen straight away, may take a bit of time, but we knew that when we brought him in so we'll be patient with that process."

    Cheika expects to have a full squad to select from for the season-opener against Western Force at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday.

    The 47-year-old said there will be some variation in the way the team plays but the same principles that won them the title last year would remain - physicality up front and running football in the backline.

    Cheika said a hunger to retain the title was less important than having the focus to do the simple things week-in, week-out throughout the season.

    "Everybody is hungry to win the title otherwise you might as well not turn up," he said.

    "What we've got to do is make sure we've got something extra. That comes down to just zeroing in on doing this job, this week ... the end game is just a consequence of what we do on Sunday.

    "There's been a lot of talk about other things but I want to make sure the focus is squarely on the rugby, not just the result but the style of rugby we play is very important."

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.