The NSW Waratahs have named their team to face the Melbourne Rebels in round three of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific competition.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has made one change to his starting XV, while adding three new faces to his bench from last week’s team that defeated the Drua 46-17.
Coleman was under no illusions to what his team would expect this weekend against a Melbourne outfit that almost snatched a famous win against a dangerous Hurricanes team.
“The Rebels had a really spirited second half last week against a strong Hurricanes team, so we know we are going to have to put in an 80-minute performance this week if we’re going to get a result,” Coleman said.
“They had a strong home crowd behind them last Friday which took them to another level, so we’re under no illusions that we’re going down into a hostile environment.”
Tom Lambert, who leads the team in carries for the season (22), has been named at loosehead with David Porecki, and the returning Harry Johnson-Holmes in the front-row. Porecki scored his first try of the season last week and made the equal most tackles (12) in the match alongside Lachie Swinton.
Hugh Sinclair retains his starting spot in the second row alongside Jed Holloway, with Taleni Seu again looking to provide impact off the bench for the side.
Langi Gleeson, man of the match against the Drua, once again joins Michael Hooper and Lachlan Swinton in an impressive and balanced back row.
Jake Gordon and Tane Edmed resume their partnership in the halves while Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese again link up in the midfield.
Max Jorgensen, who has scored three tries in his first two Super Rugby matches, has been named on the wing, joining Wallabies Ben Donaldson and Mark Nawaqanitawase in the back three. Nawaqanitawase had a dominant game against the Dura, leading the team in run metres (109), carries (13), offloads (3), and tackle busts (4).
Darren Coleman has once again named a six-two split on his bench with three new faces joining the bench from last week.
Ned Hanigan makes a welcome return from a knee injury suffered in the pre-season against the Reds in Narrabri, while Teddy Wilson is in line to play his first match of the season, and Mahe Vailanu replaces Tolu Latu as the replacement hooker.
Coleman was delighted with the cohesion building in his forwards and the return of some long term injured players back into the squad.
“We’re excited by the stability of the back five of our scrum, we feel with that combination, with another week of cohesion, can exert some force in and around their lineout and set piece,” Coleman said.
“It’s great to see some of our long term injured guys available for selection this week. Harry Johnson-Holmes, Will Harrison and Joey Walton, were all available for selection and whether they’re playing in the main team or in our A team they have a real positive impact on our team.”
WARATAHS TEAM TO FACE THE REBELS
1 Tom Lambert (Sydney Uni/ Wests Juniors/ Trinity Grammar)
2 Dave Porecki (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Redlands)
3 Harry Johnson-Holmes (Sydney Uni/ Cowra Eagles/ Merewether High School)
4 Jed Holloway (Southern Districts/ Yamba Buccaneers/ Waverly College)
5 Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs/ Lindfield/ Shore)
6 Lachlan Swinton (Sydney Uni/ Wahroonga Tigers/ Knox Grammar School)
7 Michael Hooper (Manly/ Manly Roos/ St Pius X College)
8 Langi Gleeson (Manly, Harbord Harlequins/ St Augustines)
9 Jake Gordon © (Sydney Uni/ Canterbury/ Blackwattle Bay)
10 Tane Edmed (Eastwood/ Trinity Grammar)
11 Max Jorgensen (Randwick/ Balmain Juniors/ St Joseph’s College)
12 Lalakai Foketi (Manly/ Manly Roos/ Kings)
13 Izaia Perese (Randwick/ Aspley State School/ Anglican Church Grammar)
14 Mark Nawaqanitawase (Eastwood/ St Patrick’s College)
15 Ben Donaldson (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Waverly College)
16 Mahe Vailanu (Gordon/ Melbourne Harlequins/ Auckland Grammar)
17 Te Tera Faulkner (Southern Districts/ Moorabbin Rams/ Marist College Canberra)
18 Daniel Botha (Sydney Uni/ Mosman/ Scots College)
19 Taleni Seu (Southern Districts/ Grammar Tech/ Onehunga High School)
20 Ned Hanigan (Randwick/ Coonamble Rams/ St Joseph’s College)
21 Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
22 Teddy Wilson (Eastern Suburbs/ Harbord Harlequins/ Kings School)
23 Ben Dowling (Randwick/ Chatswood/ St Joseph’s College)
Players unavailable for selection: Angus Bell – Toe (Season)
Dylan Pietsch – Quad (Round 4-5)
Tiaan Tauakipulu – Knee (Round 6+)