Twenty five doesn’t sound old enough to be a veteran, but in the Ag College outfit that is exactly what Gerard McTaggart is.
McTaggart returned home to Wagga this season, but didn’t join former club Waratahs.
Instead he’ll line up on the other side of the field for the grand final at Conolly Rugby Complex on Saturday.
McTaggart is the most experienced player in the Aggies side and is part of the reason they’ve made it through to the decider.
The halfback helps control the strings and can’t wait for the big day.
He has as been on both ends of the grand final equation throughout his career and has a simple approach for his teammates to follow.
“It’s good fun and you just have to soak it all up and enjoy it, McTaggart said.
“It is just another game of footy in the end.”
McTaggart doesn’t mind the veteran tag in a team brimming with young talent.
One of the very few non-students at the club, McTaggart is looking to bring his grand final experience from Sydney to help the young side.
“It’s funny how at 25-years-old for the first time of my rugby career I’m the old head, but it is good,” he said.
“It is a good week and it is good to see these boys get into a grand final at 21-years-old.
“It is unreal.”
Ag College have won eight of their last nine games with Waratahs the only team to get the better of them since May.
They were languishing mid-table before a second half resurgence has put them through to the grand final.
McTaggart has been impressed by the improvement in the side.
“We’ve come a long way and definitely hit form at the right time,” he said.
“There was a few close losses earlier in the year, when we probably weren’t mature enough, but we found ourselves in similar situations towards the end of the year and ended up coming up positive.
“We’ve really come a long way, become a closer unit and had a bit more faith in what we are trying to do.”
Waratahs are yet to taste defeat this season, and Ag College need to reverse a 47-24 loss from the major semi-final to become just the second club in three seasons to get the better of the traditional powerhouses.
McTaggart wants to relish the underdogs tag.
“It is hard to go through a season undefeated but they are probably one of the better footy teams I’ve ever played,” he said.
“But we have nothing to lose, I’m sure we will have a lot of support coming our way and we just have to hold onto the ball as they punish you very quickly when you give up possession.”