The teams: Waratahs vs Highlanders

by Staff Writer

TEAMSKurtley Beale will miss Saturday night’s semi-final against the Highlanders after being ruled out with a quad injury.

The playmaker failed to train on Thursday with Michael Cheika instead naming Mr Fix-It Matt Carraro at inside centre.

Rob Horne has overcome a calf injury and will make his first start in a month, after serving a three-game suspension.

The Highlanders making just the one change to their starting 15 after the injury to flanker Dan Pryor. James Lentjes coming in for just the fifth game of his career.

FORM

Both sides head into the semi-final on the back of some seriously good form with the Tahs having won four of their last five, while the Highlanders have lost just two games in two months.

The men from Dunedin are coming off an impressive 24-14 victory over the Chiefs, in which flying winger Waisake Naholo starred.

New South Wales enjoyed the week off after tearing the Reds apart in their final game of the regular season.

HISTORY

The two sides last met in March with the Highlanders notching a seven-point win at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Overall, the Tahs have been dominant against the Highlanders, boasting 13 wins from their 19 encounters.

New South Wales have never lost back-to-back games to the Highlanders in their history.

PLAYERS

Both sides boast some of Super Rugby's best performers, with Bernard Foley (175) and Lima Sopoaga (173) leading the way as the competition's top point-scorers this season.

The two flyhalfs have had Israel Folau and Waisake Naholo to work off though, Folau (1606) and Naholo (1310) have gained more metres than any other player this year.

Beale’s absence will hurt the Tahs in attack however they won’t miss him in defence, he averages 1.9 missed tackles per game, the fourth most in the competition.

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