In both broadcasts, print media, and discourses, New South Wales’ representative rugby team is rarely referred to by the full name. The most common reference to the team is ‘the Waratahs’, ‘the Tahs’, or sparingly ‘the NSW Waratahs’.
Seldom is just the team regarded as being the ‘New South Wales’ side. Although these conventions are fine in non-rugby specific settings, they are often carried over to rugby contexts unnecessarily.
There is only one New South Wales rugby team, so why isn’t it referred to as such? In the past, there was a sense of equality about the name, but this has been lost in the professional era. The motive was to expand the supporter base, but this has not exactly had the desired effect.
The team is now seen as absent to its state-representative nature, more comparable to NRL and AFL club franchises than a representative team. There is a proposal to utilize the composite parts of the name more equitably. This would help to reconnect fans with the side and possibly renew support in regional areas.
Shifting the focus to emphasize ‘New South Wales’ rather than just ‘Waratahs’ could potentially spark similar initiatives to renew support in regional areas. This adjustment does not have any major downside, so why not try it?