AAP Rugby

Ex Eel Moeroa settles with new-look Tahs

By AAP Newswire

Former NRL forward Tepai Moeroa says the fact he's one of many new faces at NSW Waratahs is helping him, after returning to the code he played as a schoolboy.

Moeroa played rugby in the centres before switching to league, in which he amassed over 100 first grade games for Parramatta in six seasons.

Late last year he decided to switch back to the 15-man code and join the Waratahs, who have undergone significant changes to their on and off-field staff.

"We've got a new coach, we've got new training staff and the way the coach wants to play is different to what the boys are used to," Moeroa said.

"It's not like I've come into a system where everyone knows the shapes and patterns.

"Everyone is in the learning stage at the moment ... I guess that helps me a lot."

He's trained at both inside and outside centre and said he had help from former NRL star Karmichael Hunt and Wallabies veteran Kurtley Beale.

The league connection at the Tahs also extends to new defence coach Phil Bailey, a former NSW and Kangaroos representative.

Sickness prevented Moeroa playing in the Tahs first trial last week, but he may well get a run in Friday's final pre-season hit-out against Queensland Reds.

Moeroa wants to get his weight down to 105kgs, and felt his rugby league experience would help with the tackling and defending aspects of union.

"We had an internal trial and I was running into a few of the forwards, and it's good that I've got used to that in rugby and rugby league," the 24-year-old said.

He'd like to stay in the backs given the technicalities and complications of being a forward in union.

Moeroa has worked on his kicking, a skill he was rarely called upon to use in league.

"In six years I might have accidentally kicked it once, toed it through," Moeroa said.

He's adamant he won't have any pangs of regrets if Parramatta wins a first title since 1986.

"No way, I made this decision because I wanted to come back and play rugby," he said.

"I hope they win a grand final, not just for the team but for the fans, it's been a long time."