The NSW Waratahs have named their team to face the Hurricanes in round four of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific competition.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has made six changes to his starting XV, while adding two new faces to his bench from last week.
After making a successful return from an Achilles injury via the bench last week, Harry Johnson-Holmes has been named in the starting front row alongside Tom Lambert and Mahe Vailanu.
Darren Coleman is missing both his starting locks from last week, with Hugh Sinclair ruled out for the next 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury and Jed Holloway on leave to be with his wife and the imminent arrival of their second child.
Ned Hanigan will play his first match of the 2023 season in the second row alongside Taleni Seu who secured a valuable bonus point for the Waratahs in Melbourne with his try after the siren.
Charlie Gamble, who re-signed with the team this week, returns to the starting backrow at blindside flanker with Michael Hooper and one of the form players in the competition, Langi Gleeson.
Darren Coleman said: “It’s exciting to have Harry Johnson-Holmes back in the starting team, he got through his minutes last week with no issues, which is a positive for our team.”
“We’ve had some forced changes in the second row which opens positions in the starting team for Ned Hanigan and Taleni Seu who has been dynamic for us off the bench.
"Swinton has played in the past three games as well as two trial matches, and to give him a break, he will be rotated out this week. Charlie Gamble will be starting at six and we’re expecting him to be fired up in his first start since round one.”
Jake Gordon partners Wallaby teammate Ben Donaldson 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 at fullback joining Mark Nawaqanitawase and Nemani Nadolo in the back three.
“Max Jorgensen’s return enables us to look at a change at number ten,” Coleman said.
“We’re comfortable with Tane’s performances this season, he’s performed solidly, we’re just looking to see if Ben Donaldson in his more natural position at ten can add another dimension to our attack."
Darren Coleman has reverted to a traditional five-three split for his finishers, with two new faces joining the bench from last week.
Harrison Goddard replacing Teddy Wilson as the back up scrumhalf and NSW Waratahs Academy Graduate Mosese Tuipulotu is in line to make a well-earned Super Rugby debut off the bench, after impressive performances for the Waratahs A side.
“It’s great to have Mosese Tuipulotu on the bench, he’s had a great pre-season and performed strongly for our A team,” Coleman said.
“Mosese has toiled away here for a few years here and thoroughly deserves his opportunity this weekend.”
WARATAHS TEAM TO FACE THE HURRICANES
1 Tom Lambert (Sydney Uni/ Wests Juniors/ Trinity Grammar)
2 Mahe Vailanu (Gordon/ Melbourne Harlequins/ Auckland Grammar)
3 Harry Johnson-Holmes (Sydney Uni/ Cowra Eagles/ Merewether High School)
4 Ned Hanigan (Randwick/ Coonamble Rams/ St Joseph’s College)
5 Taleni Seu (Southern Districts/ Grammar Tech/ Onehunga High School)
6 Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
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 (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Waverly College)
11 Nemani Nadolo (Western Sydney/ Souths Magpies/ St Joseph’s Nudgee 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 Max Jorgensen (Randwick/ Balmain Juniors/ St Joseph’s College)
16 Tolu Latu (Western Sydney/ Canterbury/ South Sydney High)
17 Sateki Latu (Warringah/ Manly Roos / Forest High School)
18 Daniel Botha (Sydney Uni/ Mosman/ Scots College)
19 Lachlan Swinton (Sydney Uni/ Wahroonga Tigers/ Knox Grammar School)
20 Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs/ Hunters Hill/ Scots College)
21 Harrison Goddard (Gordon/ Dural/ Oakhill College)
22 Tane Edmed (Eastwood/ Trinity Grammar)
23 Mosese Tuipulotu (Eastern Suburbs/ Southern Districts (VIC)/ St Kevin’s College)
Players unavailable for selection:
Angus Bell – Toe (Season) Dave Porecki - Infection (Round 5) Dylan Pietsch – Quad (Round 5) Hugh Sinclair – Shoulder (Round 8+) Te Tera Faulkner – Calf (Round 5) Tiaan Tauakipulu – Knee (Round 8+) Will Harrison - Toe (Round 5)
Match Details NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes Friday 17 March – Sky Stadium, Wellington Kick-off 5:05 pm AEDT Live exclusively on Stan Sport