Waratahs out to send Burke out on a high - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs out to send Burke out on a high

By Steve Jancetic 24/06/2004 06:47:02 PM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs will be looking to make Matt Burke's last game in a sky blue jumper one to remember when they tackle the Pacific Islanders at Aussie Stadium.

The match will also bring to an end the Waratahs' tumultuous season, in which they again failed to make rugby's Super 12 finals despite winning their first three games.

Burke will be playing his final game for NSW and possibly his last on Australian soil after he was cut from the Wallabies squad for Saturday night's Test against England.

The most capped NSW player of all-time, with 114 games, Burke will link up with English club Newcastle in August after being told by the Waratahs he was not wanted for next season.

"We're happy to have him here and as captain and I think it'll be a nice way for him to finish his involvement with NSW," coach Ewen MacKenzie said before the team's final training session.

"I think it's fitting that he's getting the opportunity to play, albeit at the expense of being involved in the Test program.

"I know he still harbours hopes of being involved in the Test program down the track, so I certainly hope for him that that happens."

The Waratahs have been forced to make two late changes to their team.

Hooker Huia Edmonds has been brought into the starting line-up for Adam Freier, who has flown to Brisbane to be on standby for injured Wallaby reserve Jeremy Paul. Al Manning replaces Edmonds on the bench.

Elia Tuqiri has come in for winger Scott Staniforth, who was also set to play his last match for NSW, after he was granted leave to attend a funeral.

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