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NSW Waratahs out to finish forgettable season in style

Consigned to the wooden spoon win, lose or draw, the NSW Waratahs are nevertheless intent on finishing their forgettable Super Rugby Pacific season with a bang.

The Waratahs host the fifth-placed Queensland Reds at Allianz Stadium on Friday night in a fixture that will have no impact on the competition table for either team.

But outgoing coach Darren Coleman knows there's never a dead rubber in Australian derbies, especially when a raft of stars including Wallabies Mark Nawaqanitawase, Izaia Perese, Ned Hanigan and Lachie Swinton are also departing the Tahs.

"Definitely some mixed emotions, obviously for me personally to finish up," Coleman said at Thursday's captain's run.

"It's a sad note but we're really excited to finish on a high and, more importantly, there's some really good Waratah men that are probably finishing their careers with the Waratahs tomorrow.

"So I'm excited for that."

The Reds are assured of facing the Chiefs in New Zealand in the quarter-finals regardless of the result, but the Waratahs are motivated too.

"I guess it's a match for pride on a few fronts," Coleman said.

"Obviously we've had a poor season so we want to finish with a positive impact and I generally want to see smiles on people's faces, both as supporters and staff and players within the group.

"Then you throw into the mix that we're playing the Reds, which is the oldest rivalry in Australian rugby, so I think the boys would be really up for an energetic and purposeful performance."

After three seasons at the helm, including finals appearances in 2022 and 2023 after inheriting the winless 2021 Waratahs, Coleman is unsure where his future lies but hopes it's in rugby somewhere.

"I haven't got too much skills with dancing or table tennis," he said.

"I think it's rugby for me. I've been in rugby since I was 21 as a job, so I'll stay in it. I love the game.

"The game's given me so much. Yeah, I've been bucked off the horse this time but I'll get back on it for sure."

The journeyman 51-year-old who boasts stints with the LA Giltinis, Japan, Italy, NSW Country Eagles, Shute Shield and in an assistant role at the Brumbies is open to moving anywhere.

"With this day and age of Sydney mortgage prices, you can't stay out of work for too long," Coleman said.

"So I will take a little bit of time to reflect but, like anyone, you've got to get on the phone and work.

"And besides that aspect of it and looking after the family, I want to.

"I genuinely feel I'll be better for this experience."