Wallabies back liner Kurtley Beale is almost certain to return to the Waratahs back line for this week’s Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies at in Sydney.
The Waratahs have lost their last two matches at Allianz Stadium and this is the first time in four years that they have back to back losses at the venue.
The last time the Waratahs lost three successive matches at home was in 2007 when the team finished second last in the Super14.
A third loss this weekend will not write off their chances of reaching the play off but it will give their hopes a severe dent and lock Dean Mumm knows they have to bounce back.
“You must win the games at home and you particularly must win the games at home against the other Aussie teams,” Mumm told AAP.
The Waratahs are well aware of how important home wins are as they won their only title in 2014 but were unbeaten at home in 2014, 2011, 2010 and 2008 seasons.
“We can’t afford it. It’s a game against a team in your own conference so they’re even more important to win,” Mumm said.
“But it’s a huge game for us. It’s the start of a good run of games but you’re only as good as the result this weekend against the team that’s leading our conference.”
The Waratahs have however had two byes in the first seven rounds so with matches in hand they can control their own destiny and Mumm used a golfing analogy to show how they can turn it around.
“We’ve probably dropped a few shots on the front nine and we’re looking to pick up a few on the back,” he said.
In their most recent loss the Waratahs fell to the Rebels for the first time at home and were badly missing Beale who sat out with an elbow injury but assistant coach Cameron Blades says he is likely to return this week.
“Kurtley, if he continues to get through (sessions), then hopefully he’ll be available for selection,” said Blades.
“They’ll assess him after today’s training but he certainly got through that one reasonably well.”