The NSW Waratahs have named their team to face the Queensland Reds in Round 2 of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific competition.
NSW Waratahs Head Coach Darren Coleman has made just one change to his starting XV that defeated the Fijian Drua in the opening round while adding four new faces to his bench.
In the only change to starting side Jeremy Williams makes his Super Rugby run-on debut for the Waratahs, replacing the injured Lachlan Swinton (shoulder) at blindside flanker.
Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, and Harry Johnson-Holmes again line-up in the front-row while Geoff Cridge and Jed Holloway combine to lock the Waratahs scrum
Jake Gordon, fresh off a man of the match performance in Round one where he led the side in tackles (15) and run metres (103), continues to develop his partnership with Ben Donaldson in the halves.
Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese form a dangerous midfield combination, with Perese displaying no letup in his destructive ball carrying from last season with six tackle busts against the Drua.
The back-three of James Turner, Dylan Pietsch and Alex Newsome remains intact from last week. Off-season recruit Ruan Smith is set to make his Waratahs debut against his former side the Reds and will look to add plenty of impact to the Waratahs scrum late in the game.
The Waratahs prop was under no illusions as to what to expect from his former side.
“It will be good; it’ll be weird because it was not too long ago that I was there. I’m still close with everyone and have made lifelong friends there,” Smith said.
“It’ll be interesting, I’ll be throwing a few cheeky elbows at a few people and maybe rub some dirt in their face.
“I know how they think, and their coaching staff will tell them to step it up and get in our faces and be physical as that’s probably where they want to beat us.”
It will be a special night for Waratahs Academy graduate Langi Gleeson who is set to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench after impressing during the coaching staff during the pre-season.
Waratahs team to face Reds:
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/ Waverly College)
5 Geoffrey Cridge (West Harbour/ Darfield Rugby Club/ Christchurch Boys High)
6 Jeremy Williams (Eastern Suburbs/ Wahroonga Tigers/ Scots College)
7 Charles Gamble (Eastern Suburbs/ Saracens/ St Bede’s College)
8 Will Harris (Eastern Suburbs/ Hunters Hill/ Scots College)
9 Jake Gordon (Sydney Uni/ Canterbury/ Blackwattle Bay)
10 Ben Donaldson (Randwick/ Clovelly Eagles/ Waverly College)
11 James Turner (Norther Suburbs/ Drummoyne/ Newington)
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 Alex Newsome (Eastern Suburbs/ Glen Innes Elks/ St Joseph’s 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 Wildfires / Paarl Gimansium)
19 Max Douglas (Manly/ Harbord Harlequins/ St Augustines College)
20 Langi Gleeson (Manly/ Harbord Harlequins/ St Augustines College)
21 Jack Grant (Eastern Suburbs/ Orange City Lions/ St Ignatius College)
22 Tane Edmed (Eastwood/ Trinity)
23 Jamie Roberts (CRICC/ Rumney RFC/ Ysgol Glantaf)
Players unavailable for selection:
Archer Holz - Thigh (Round 3-4)
Lachlan Swinton (Shoulder TBC)
Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco – Hip (TBC)
James Ramm – Ribs (Round 3-4)
Mosese Tuipulotu – Knee (Round 11+)
Joey Walton – ACL (Season)
Hugh Sinclair – Unavailable (Round 3)
Michael Hooper – Foot (TBC)