Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase dumped by Waratahs

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NRL bound Wallabies winger Mark Nawaqanitawase has been dropped from the Waratahs squad for a crunch clash with the Crusaders with coach Darren Coleman not even finding a spot for him on the bench in the struggling outfit.

Coming off a 12th straight Super Rugby loss to the Brumbies last weekend, and a sixth loss for the season, Coleman has turned to Triston Reilly on the wing with Nawaqanitawase’s immediate future clouded.

Nawaqanitawase, who was part of the failed Wallabies World Cup campaign in France last year, signed a two-year deal with the Roosters worth around $900,000 after opting to shift away from the 15-man code.

He’s not injured with Coleman instead keen to give an opportunity to Reilly who played Shute Shield for Randwick in Sydney last Saturday.

“Triston deserves his chance,” he said.

“We all saw what he did against the Crusaders last time. He missed out for a couple of weeks there, but he took it in the right way. He went back and worked hard on his game, stayed positive and played really well for Randwick on the weekend in the Shute Shield.

“His effort areas like kick-chase and defence are really strong and I’m looking forward to what he can provide us this weekend.

“It’s been a big headache in our backline but a good headache to have. This week we have all of our contracted backs available which is unheard of. As a result, we’ve got some good players missing out.”

Nawaqanitawase hasn’t scored a try in seven games for the Waratahs this season and could be in jeopardy of losing his Wallabies spot under new coach Joe Schmidt before he crosses to the NRL next season.

The Waratahs, with Coleman’s role beyond this season unknown, also have front-row injury issues with Wallabies prop Angus Bell to miss the rest of the season,

“Losing Angus is a big blow, not only for the team but for Australian rugby. He took it pretty hard but there’s a bit of the clouds lifting,” Coleman said.

“The injuries to our props are really starting to hit the squad. Upfront, we’re struggling. There’s no doubt we’re lacking a bit of depth there at the moment.”

Perennial Super Rugby contenders, the Crusaders, like the Waratahs, have only won a single game this season. .