Waratahs winger Cam Clark says NSW is ready to wipe the slate clean, after a dismal 2017 season.
The Waratahs returned to training on Monday, kicking their 2018 preparation with a time trial and gym work, with a host of new faces.
Clark said the group was desperate to start early on improvements for next season.
“We were very disappointed with last year and if our standards were up to scratch, we’d be playing next week in the final,” he said.
“Unfortunately we’re not there but we’re in here trying to make change and do the best we can to make sure we’re there next year.
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“We’re trying to put that behind us and look at what we can fix and what we can do better in this block we’ve got building up now.
“(We’ll) see if we can make improvements there and make sure we hit the ground running when it comes to preseason.
“We’ll get those Wallaby guys back in, will be good for them to see that we’ve set the pace and we’re ready to go and they can fill in quite easily.”
While there are some new players in camp, Clark is looking forward to the off-field addition of Norths coach Simon Cron as NSW contact coach.
“I’ve worked a fair bit with Cronny at Norths,” he said.
“He’s a great coach and I’m sure he’ll offer a lot to our forwards especially with his knowledge around the breakdown and that contact area so I’m sure he’s keen to get stuck in with us and I’m sure all the guys are looking forward to it.
Rookie forward Lochie Swinton was among the standouts in the time trial, impressing his new teammates.
Halfback Jake Gordon was sporting a moon boot on Monday, but is likely to be ready for the opening round of the NRC, a competition that propelled him into Super Rugby contention last year.
Gordon suffered a syndesmosis injury playing for Sydney Uni, ending his club season, but the in-form halfback is expected to be back in action for last year’s NRC finalists NSW Country Eagles.