The NSW Waratahs have named their team for their clash against the ACT Brumbies in the opening round of Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has named a strong side featuring 14 Test players and five potential Waratahs debutants in his match day 23.
Headlining the Waratahs side is 18-year-old Waratahs Academy graduate Max Jorgensen whose impressive pre-season form has earned him selection on the wing and a Super Rugby Pacific debut.
Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman was excited to see what the youngster will bring.
“Max has been getting a lot of press at the moment - he’s a talented young player, and we understand he’s going to have his ups and downs but we’re with him for the ride,” Coleman said.
“I think you’ll see as his confidence grows, the talent that he has will shine through.”
Angus Bell, fresh off committing his future to the Waratahs until 2027, starts in the front row alongside Wallaby teammate David Porecki, and Archer Holz.
Former Chief and Samoa Test lock Taleni Seu joins Waratahs’ 2022 Matt Burke Cup winner Jed Holloway in the second row.
Lachlan Swinton plays his first Super Rugby game since Round one in 2022 and forms an exciting back row with Charlie Gamble and Michael Hooper.
“Taleni is a physical, athletic player, and he showed that in the Reds trial where he was our best forward ball carrier and thoroughly deserves his chance to start,” Coleman added.
“The whole team and staff are really excited for Lachie, it’s an amazing recovery and show of willpower from him, especially considering what he’s been through.
“There’s no better way for him to relaunch his career than in one of the biggest Waratahs games for a long time in our home coming at Allianz Stadium.”
Jake Gordon and Tane Edmed resume their partnership in the halves while Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese form one of the most damaging midfield combinations in Super Rugby Pacific.
Ben Donaldson wears the fullback jersey with Mark Nawaqanitawase and Max Jorgensen rounding out the team on the wings.
Darren Coleman has named a six-two split on the bench with Fiji Test star Nemani Nadolo set to make his Waratahs Super Rugby debut off the bench.
WARATAHS TEAM TO FACE THE ACT BRUMBIES
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 Taleni Seu (Southern Districts/ Grammar Tech/ Onehunga High School)
6 Lachlan Swinton (Sydney Uni/ Wahroonga Tigers/ Knox Grammar School)
7 Michael Hooper (Manly/ Manly Roos/ St Pius X College)
8 Charlie Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
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/ Auckland Grammar School)
17 Tom Lambert (Sydney Uni/ Wests Juniors/ Trinity Grammar)
18 Te Tera Faulkner (Southern Districts/ Moorabbin Rams/ Marist College Canberra)
19 Hugh Sinclair (Northern Suburbs/ Lindfield/ S.H.O.R.E)
20 Langi Gleeson (Manly, Harbord Harlequins/ St Augustines)
21 Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs/ Hunters Hill/ Scots College)
22 Harrison Goddard (Gordon, Dural, Oakhill College)
23 Nemani Nadolo (Western Sydney, Souths Magpies, St Joseph’s Nudgee College)
Players unavailable for selection:
Dylan Pietsch – Quad (Round 2-3)
Harry Johnson-Holmes – Achilles (Round 3-4)
Joey Walton – Back (Round 2-3)
Ned Hanigan – Knee (Round 2-4)
Tiaan Tauakipulu – Knee (Round 2-3)
Will Harrison – Knee (Round 3)