The NSW Waratahs have named their team to face the Blues in Round 15 of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific competition.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has made five changes to his forward pack and named an unchanged backline to the side that defeated the Highlanders 32-20 in Dunedin.
Archer Holz returns to the side after being ruled out late last week due to illness, joining Angus Bell and Dave Porecki in the front row.
Ned Hanigan, fresh off an impressive cameo off the bench in his first match back for the Waratahs, starts alongside Jed Holloway in the second row.
Charlie Gamble returns to the starting side forming a hard-working and exciting backrow with Michael Hooper and the Waratahs’ leading try-scorer Will Harris (5).
Jake Gordon and Tane Edmed continue their partnership in the halves while Lalakai Foketi and Alex Newsome have again been named in the centres.
Ben Donaldson retains the fullback jersey with Mark Nawaqanitawase and Dylan Pietsch rounding out the team on the wings.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman lauded the depth side has built this season.
“Jed and Charlie come back into the starting team and that's based on their outstanding performances throughout the year. They were both rested last week against the Highlanders so we're excited to see the energy they'll inject into the team,” Coleman said.
“Ned comes into the starting team, as his performance last week off the bench was just too good to leave out, and that pushes Sinclair to the bench who has been super reliable for us all year long.
“We’re disappointed to lose Langi Gleeson who suffered a minor knee injury, but it also enables us to bring back Rahboni and it's a good sign of the depth of the squad that when we do lose guys to minor injuries, we can seamlessly bring in players of equal quality.”
Darren Coleman has once again named a six-two split on the bench after being impressed with the impact his replacements made against the Highlanders late in the game.
“We thought we got really good pay from our six-two split on the bench against the Highlanders and are looking for the same again this week,” Coleman said.
“Having players like Williams, Sinclair, Patty Ryan, and Rahboni coming off the bench hopefully allows us to finish the back end of the game strongly which will be crucial against the competition heavyweights.”
WARATAHS TEAM TO TAKE ON THE BLUES
1 Angus Bell (Sydney Uni/ Hunters Hill/ Newington College)
2 Dave Porecki (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Redlands)
3 Archer Holz (Eastern Suburbs/ Kings School)
4 Jed Holloway (Southern Districts/ Yamba Buccaneers/ Waverly College)
5 Ned Hanigan (Randwick/ Coonamble Rams/ St Joseph’s College)
6 Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
7 Michael Hooper (Manly/ Manly Roos/ St Pius X College)
8 Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs/ Hunters Hill/ Scots College)
9 Jake Gordon © (Sydney Uni/ Canterbury/ Blackwattle Bay)
10 Tane Edmed (Eastwood/ Trinity Grammar)
11 Dylan Pietsch (Randwick/ Leeton Phantoms/ Kings School)
12 Lalakai Foketi (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Kings)
13 Alex Newsome (Eastern Suburbs/ Glen Innes Elks/ St Joseph’s College)
14 Mark Nawaqanitawase (Eastwood/ St Patrick’s College)
15 Ben Donaldson (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Waverly College)
Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu (Gordon/ Auckland Grammar School)
17 Te Tera Faulkner (Southern Districts/ Moorabin Rams/ Marist College Canberra)
18 Paddy Ryan (Sydney University/ Tamworth Tricolours/ St Joseph’s College)
19 Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs/ Lindfield/ S.H.O.R.E)
20 Jeremy Williams (Eastern Suburbs/ Wahroonga Tigers/ Scots College)
21 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (Southern Districts/ Endeavour Sports High)
22 Jack Grant (Eastern Suburbs/ Orange City Lions/ St Ignatius College)
23 Jamie Roberts (Warringah/ Rumney RFC/ Ysgol Glantaf)
Players unavailable for selection: Geoff Cridge – HIA (QF+) Harry Johnson-Holmes – Knee (QF+) Hugh Bokenham – Ankle (Season) Izaia Perese – Knee (QF+) James Ramm – Ankle (QF+) Joey Walton – ACL (Season) Lachlan Swinton - Shoulder (Season) Langi Gleeson – (QF+) Will Harrison – ACL, MCL (season)
Players available for Shute Shield Carlo Tizzano (West Harbour) Henry Robertson (Sydney Uni) Max Douglas (Manly) Mosese Tuipulotu (Eastern Suburbs) Tevita Funa (Western Sydney) Tiaan Tauakipulu (Randwick) Triston Reilly (Randwick)