Paddy Ryan will make his fourth start this season in the HSBC Waratahs’ big local derby clash against the Brumbies this Saturday.
Ryan’s inclusion at tighthead prop in place of Sekope Kepu is one of two changes to the side that last week overpowered the Stormers 21-15, with Drew Mitchell also elevated from the bench in place of Peter Betham.
The game is NSW’s first of the season at ANZ Stadium and Head Coach Michael Cheika’s first visit to the venue.
“There’s always something special about these Australian derby games because there’s so much rivalry built up over all the years of playing each other. With the Brumbies also leading the competition, this is a very important game for us,” said Cheika.
“Last time we played them in Canberra back in Round 4, our effort was simply not good enough to compete with a very well drilled Brumbies outfit. Throughout this season, we’ve been working hard at developing our identity and becoming an honest hardworking team and I think now we’re starting to play the kind of attacking running rugby that we want to be known for. How we play under the pressure of this match up will show how committed we are to play the brand of rugby that we want associated with NSW rugby.
“For me, building a winning mentality is about getting up for every game, about having that obsessive mentality every day in training as well as when you step out onto the pitch but there will be a little extra edge in the game, something I personally enjoy in rugby.
“The Brumbies have been showing the way all season. They’re well ahead of us on the table, they’re very disciplined in the way they play the game and they’ve got good leadership. I’m sure they’ll think they will have an edge on us so it’s up to us to respond in kind. We’ll require the level of physicality that we showed against the Stormers last week plus 10 per cent.”
On Saturday, the HSBC Waratahs continue their celebration of grassroots rugby, with the annual fixture between NSW Suburban and Country taking place as a curtain raiser to the main Super Rugby game. At half-time, there’s more sevens action in store, with schoolgirls from Endeavour Sports High School in Caringbah and Sydney West Barbarians playing a sevens match.
The HSBC Waratahs v Brumbies match kicks off at 7.40pm this Saturday. Tickets to the game start from just $20 for adults and $50 for a family of four and are available online from Ticketek. All tickets to the game also include free public transport and access to the curtain raiser, which kicks off at 5.15pm. What’s more, fans showing their support for their state team will also be supporting grassroots rugby, with a proportion of all ticket sales going directly to the NSW Suburban and Country Rugby Unions.
Those in regional NSW can follow the game live on FOX SPORTS or keep up to date with every score live on Twitter @NSWWaratahs or by searching #WARvBRU.
HSBC Waratahs team to play the Brumbies
Saturday May 18, 2013 (7.40pm)
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta)
3. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
4. Sitaleki Timani (Southern Districts)
5. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts)
6. Dave Dennis (Sydney University, captain)
7. Michael Hooper (Manly)
8. Wycliff Palu (Manly)
9. Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
10. Bernard Foley (Sydney University)
11. Drew Mitchell (Balmain)
12. Rob Horne (Southern Districts)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs)
14. Cam Crawford (Northern Suburbs)
15. Israel Folau (Sydney University)
16. John Ulugia (Eastern Suburbs)
17. Sekope Kepu (Randwick)
18. Will Skelton (Sydney University)
19. Mitchell Chapman (Eastern Suburbs)
20. Matt Lucas (Manly)
21. Berrick Barnes (Sydney University)
22. Peter Betham (Sydney University)