NSW coach Daryl Gibson has identified defence and scrum time as the non-negotiables that must improve if the Waratahs are to be a Super Rugby title force in 2019.
With the express intent of toughening up his 2018 semi-finalists, Gibson has assembled the most experienced coaching line-up of his six-year stint at the Waratahs.
Former Wallabies halfback and Waratahs captain Chris Whitaker has returned from a two-year apprenticeship in France to be Gibson's new backs and skills coach.
Former long-time Ospreys mentor Steve Tandy has been recruited from Wales as defence coach, with Kiwi Simon Cron remaining as contact coach.
"What they bring most importantly is diversity - diversity in thought and diversity in the way they do things," Gibson said.
"So the last two or three months we have debated hard a French view, a Welsh, northern hemisphere view and two Kiwi-Aussies' views on how the game should be played.
"And what we've got to is a really good place. While we disagree on some things, we 100 per cent agree on our approach and how we can do things."
Primarily, the Waratahs accept they must improve their defence after leaking 65 tries in 2018.
The championship-winning Crusaders let in just 40, with statistics revealing opposition sides needed a third less amount of time to score against the Waratahs than they did against the competition benchmarks.
"One of the brutal facts about our team is we concede too easily and that's a mindset and a fight," Gibson said.
"The Crusaders beat the Lions (in this year's final) with the same game plan that we attempted in Johannesburg (in the semi-finals).
"They were able to execute it. We've looked at it, studied it and the things that came out of it was that we need to fight harder."
Tandy is making no secret of his plan to change the Waratahs' attitude to make their approach more like those of northern hemisphere teams.
"Over there, the kicking game comes first, defence second and attack third," he said.
"Over here, it's the opposite."
The Waratahs also know they must man up at the set piece.
"We've got some challenges. If I look at our scrum, Simon's got a huge job here," Gibson said.
"We've got a 33-year-old prop in Sekope Kepu at tighthead. Underneath that with Tom Robertson being injured, we've got four young 21-year-olds.
"So that's going to be a huge challenge for us in making sure we've got the depth.
"Statistically, it's been proven that the scrum and how you scrummage the opposition's ball is the No.1 determining of the score."