Emerging Waratah Miller earns high praise

Adrian Warren
NSW Waratahs flanker Will Miller has earned plaudits for his ability to make big plays

Michael Hooper's No.7 shirt fits well, but emerging NSW Waratahs flanker Will Miller is earning praise by doing things his way.

Starting his first game at openside for the Tahs, Miller scored a try and executed a steal at the death to secure a valuable win over the Australian conference leaders' closest challenger Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park last Friday

Miller has started several games this season at blindside flanker alongside Hooper, but was conscious of trying to play his own game rather than emulating his injured captain..

"Definitely, I obviously try and focus on things that I'm better at, because that's what will help the team most while I'm out there," Miller said.

"But if I try to be someone else, I won't do my things right and I won't play well enough for the team."

His impact didn't surprise Hooper or Tahs' forwards coach Simon Cron, who last year was also Miller's club coach at Northern Suburbs.

"With Michael Hooper down there's there's nobody in the world you want to go out there than Will Miller," Cron said.

"One of the toughest players I've seen in the last four or five years uncompromising, huge work rate and he takes a second to no-one attitude.

"He's a big game player and you saw that in the game on the weekend in the last five or ten minutes.

"His impact around turnovers and pressure for us was a massive part of us winning the game"

Miller is set to stay at openside for at least the Tahs last two round games, while Hooper recovers from a hamstring injury.

Wins in their two home games over Japan's Sunwolves and the Brumbies will ensure the Tahs top the Australian conference and secure a home qualifier.

"If we can't win our last two games, then we probably don't deserve to be there," Miller said.

Hooper has been the only man to wear the Tahs' No.7 jersey since joining the franchise before the 2013 season, missing only 53 minutes of play in his 93 games.

"We're two of the smaller people around, it (the No.7 jersey) was a good fit, it felt good," Miller said.