The Israel Folau midfield experiment is a go.
After months of hypothesising, Folau has been named at outside centre for the first time this season, as part of a major Waratahs reshuffle.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has been vocal about his desire to play Folau at outside centre, with Rob Horne (injured) but has not had the cattle to do so until now.
Andrew Kellaway will replace Folau at fullback, in a massive show of faith to the youngster, while Matt Carraro shifts to the wing, and Reece Robinson earns his first Super Rugby start on the opposite wing.
Former All Blacks winger Zac Guildford has been ruled out with a broken foot.
Kurtley Beale returns to inside centre, as expected, overcoming an ankle injury suffered in training a fortnight ago, relegating David Horwitz to the bench.
Gibson has moved to adjust his struggling scrum, with Benn Robinson and tom Robertson starting in place of Paddy Ryan and Angus Ta’avao.
That’s not the end of the experimenting for the Waratahs forwards, with club captain Dave Dennis benched in favour of Jack Dempsey at blindside and a returning Will Skelton at lock.
Skelton has come a long way since being sent back to club rugby after a disappointing start to the season.
The changes mean that almost half the team that faces the Brumbies will be different to that which travelled to Canberra in round two, with seven different faces starting, not accounting for positional switches.
This Saturday’s clash is a critical one for NSW, who are fighting to stay in contention for the Suepr Rugby finals.
The Waratahs face the Brumbies at Allianz Stadium at 7:45pm Saturday night, LIVE on FOXSPORTS.
1. Benn Robinson
2. Hugh Roach
3. Tom Robertson
4. Dean Mumm
5. Will Skelton
6. Jack Dempsey
7. Michael Hooper
8. Jed Holloway
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Matt Carraro
12. Kurtley Beale
13. Israel Folau
14. Reece Robinson
15. Andrew Kellaway
16. James Hilterbrand
17. Paddy Ryan
18. Angus Ta’avao
19. Sam Lousi
20. Wycliff Palu
21. David Dennis
22. Matt Lucas
23. David Horwitz