With Tatafu Polota-Nau and Tolu Latu suffering injuries in the early rounds of the 2016 season, hooker Hugh Roach was handed a huge opportunity by the Waratahs coaching team. He featured in nine of the Waratahs’ games in 2017. One of the squads’ many players who were born and raised in NSW, Roach was called up to join the extended playing squad ahead of the 2014 season having developed a reputation for his uncompromising tackles and fearless approach to the game.
A scavenger of note with a high work rate, Roach was part of Eastwood’s back-to-back Shute Shield Premiership winning side in 2014 and 2015. The son of former Western Suburbs first grade hooker Graham Roach, Hugh began his junior rugby career with Hunters Hill before making the move to Gordon Rugby Club where he was a member of the juniors programme. During his years attending Newington College, Roach represented the Australian Schoolboys on 11 occasions between 2009 and 2010 and remains as one of the most capped schools rugby players in Australia. In 2011 he was selected in the Australian Under 20s squad, making three appearances against Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand.
He earned another four Australian Under 20 caps when he was selected to play in the 2012 IRB Junior World Championships against Scotland, Argentina and France twice. He was announced as Rookie of the Year during his opening season of the first grade competition, following in the footsteps of previous winners and Waratah teammates Bernard Foley, Jed Holloway and Greg Petersen. His impressive form saw him picked up by the Western Force where he made his provincial debut against the British & Irish Lions in June 2013.
Last updated: 06/02/2018