The NSW Waratahs have named their team to face the Melbourne Rebels in Round 5 of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific competition.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has made two changes to his starting XV that defeated the Force at Leichhardt Oval.
David Porecki returns to the starting team after recovering from a groin injury and packs down alongside Angus Bell and Harry Johnson-Holmes in the front row. Bell has been immense with the ball in hand for the Waratahs making the 3rd most carries in the competition (45).
Geoff Cridge returns to the starting side after making a successful return from his ankle injury via the bench last weekend and joins stand-in skipper Jed Holloway in the second row.
Charlie Gamble, Hugh Sinclair and Will Harris again form an exciting back row.
Jack Grant retains the nine jersey in the absence of skipper Jake Gordon (Hamstring) and partners Ben Donaldson in the halves.
Wallaby teammates Izaia Perese and Lalakai form a dangerous combination in the midfield, with Perese currently sitting second in the competition for defenders beaten (17).
Will Harrison, fresh off an impressive performance against the Force scoring 17 of the Waratahs’ 22 points, starts at fullback with Alex Newsome and Dylan Pietsch named on the wings.
Darren Coleman has reverted to a traditional five-three split on the bench with Waratahs Academy graduate and Australian U20’s representative Teddy Wilson in line to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was excited
“It was disappointing to lose Jez (Jeremy Williams) and Robbo (Henry Robertson), we didn’t expect that, but in rugby, you are always going to get a few outs,” Coleman said.
“We’re fortunate to have Dave back as he brings plenty of experience to the team and we’re really excited for Teddy and the opportunity he gets this weekend.
“Teddy is a super talented and tenacious young halfback that’s getting his crack a little earlier than we had planned, but we know he’s up for it.”
WARATAHS TEAM TO TAKE ON THE REBELS
1 Angus Bell (Sydney Uni/ Hunters Hill/ Newington College)
2 David Porecki (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Redlands)
3 Harry Johnson-Holmes (Sydney Uni/ Cowra Eagles/ Merewether High School)
4 Jed Holloway (Southern Districts/ Yamba Buccaneers/ Waverley College)
5 Geoffrey Cridge (West Harbour/ Darfield Rugby Club/ Christchurch Boys High)
6 Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs/ Lindfield/ S.H.O.R.E)
7 Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
8 Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs/ Hunters Hill/ Scots College)
9 Jack Grant (Eastern Suburbs/ Orange City Lions/ St Ignatius College)
10 Ben Donaldson (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Waverley College)
11 Alex Newsome (Eastern Suburbs/ Glen Innes Elks/ St Joseph’s College)
12 Lalakai Foketi (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Kings School)
13 Izaia Perese (Randwick/ Aspley State School/ Anglican Church Grammar)
14 Dylan Pietsch (Randwick/ Leeton Phantoms/ Kings School)
15 Will Harrison (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Marcellin College)
Replacements: 16 Tom Horton (Sydney Uni/ Mosman Whales/ St Joseph’s College)
17 Te Tera Faulkner (Southern Districts/ Moorabin Rams/ Marist College Canberra)
18 Ruan Smith (Hunter Wildfire / Paarl Gimnasium) / Archer Holz (Eastern Suburbs/ Kings School)
19 Langi Gleeson (Manly/ Harbord Harlequins/ St Augustines College)
20 Carlo Tizzano (West Harbour/ UWA Rugby Club/ Trinity College WA)
21 Teddy Wilson (Eastern Suburbs/ Kings School)
22 Jamie Roberts (CRICC/ Rumney RFC/ Ysgol Glantaf)
23 Mark Nawaqanitawase (Eastwood/ St Patrick’s College)
Players unavailable for selection:
Henry Robertson – Shoulder (TBC)
Jake Gordon – Hamstring (Round 8-9)
Jeremy Williams – Hamstring (TBC)
Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (Round 6)
Lachlan Swinton (Shoulder TBC)
James Turner – Ankle (Round 6-7)
Mosese Tuipulotu – Knee (Round 11+)
Joey Walton – ACL (Season)
Michael Hooper – Foot (TBC)
Match Details NSW Waratahs v Melbourne Rebels Saturday 19 March - Sydney Cricket Ground Kick-off 19:45 Live on NINE GEM and Stan Sport