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NSW Rugby considers coach options as Whitaker pleads for patience

Waratahs assistant coach Chris Whitaker says rookie Tahs players need “more time in the saddle” to improve but the NSW Rugby board is preparing to take action off the field to help arrest the team’s calamitous decline.

After back-to-back record defeats to the Reds and Brumbies, the Waratahs play their first home game on Friday against the Force. A third straight loss would put coach Rob Penney under intense pressure.

Waratahs coach Rob Penney is under intense pressure.

Waratahs coach Rob Penney is under intense pressure.Credit:Getty

Waratahs chief executive Paul Doorn said on Sunday that Penney was under no immediate threat, but sources with knowledge of the situation told the Herald that members of the NSWRU board are already canvassing other coaching options, both in Australia and overseas, should they elect to release Penney in the second year of his three-year deal.

The Herald has also learnt change is likely in the NSWRU boardroom, with chairman Roger Davis expected to be under pressure from fellow directors to keep his role at the next board meeting in April. Davis, a former Wallaby, was first appointed chairman of the Waratahs board in 2012, and continued in the role after the Waratahs and NSW Rugby re-united in 2017.

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