Waratahs keen to end Super Rugby season on a high
RUGBY UNION: Mystery surrounds the axing of Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu for Saturday night's Super Rugby clash against the Jaguares at Allianz Stadium.
The 24-year-old, who has played four games for the Wallabies, missed training on Thursday.
It is believed he instead opted to attend his partner's graduation ceremony.
He now looks set to line up in the Shute Shield for Sydney Uni against ladder-leader Manly.
"Tolu Latu missed training yesterday due to personal reasons so we've made a change there with Damien Fitzpatrick coming in," NSW coach Daryl Gibson said.
"Tolu will obviously be available for selection next week."
Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley and lock Dean Mumm were both absentees at Friday's captain's run with illness, but are expected to be fit to play.
Already out of contention for the finals, the Tahs play the Jaguares and the Force in the final fortnight and while they're dead rubbers, Gibson said the games were far from meaningless.
Strong performances and victories will draw a line under a poor year and set the team up for a vastly improved 2018 season, he said.
"That's got to be our mindset. We cannot afford to go into next season with poor momentum," Gibson said.
"I really believe the bones of next year's team are already here and we need to finish off the season the way we mean to start next season."
The Tahs will farewell Mumm, Will Skelton and Rob Horne at home, but Skelton's broken thumb means he'll do it in a suit.