Rookie boost for ‘Tahs pack

The Waratahs have turned to rookie Hugh Roach to boost their depth at hooker after losing Tatafu Polota-Nau to injury.

The 23-year-old has only eight Super Rugby caps to his name and will battle it out with Tolu Latu for the number two jersey while Polota-Nau is sidelined with a broken wrist for up to two months.

Roach first appeared on the Super Rugby stage in 2014, but the Greater Sydney Rams front-row admits his scrummaging and line-out capabilities weren't suffice to secure a regular starting position.

“The big key areas for me as a hooker are my lineout throwing and my scrummaging, and I feel as though since my debut both those areas have gone up pretty well,” Roach told Fox Sports.

“There is always room to improve. I’ve been in and around, I’ve had some game-time and played in the trials, I’m pretty confident in my abilities and in myself, and I’m just ready to rip in for the team.

"It’s unfortunate for Taf getting the injury because he’d had a really good preseason and had been playing good footy, it’s never good to see that. But in saying that I’m really ready to put my foot forward."

Roach is included in the squad that will host the defending champions the Highlanders in Sydney this weekend.

“I’ve been training pretty well with the Tahs, this is my third year now so I’m ready to rip in on Friday,” he added.

“We focused a lot on our scrum in the bye week, definitely for myself because now I’m stepping up into that role I’ve got to get some more reps in than usual.”