Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson says he’s giving Dean Mumm a rest,in swapping Dave McDuling in over the Wallabies forward to face the Kings.
McDuling comes in for his second start of the year, having previously replaced an injured Will Skelton, a move that Gibson said was about Mumm’s workload, with the 33-year-old playing an average of 76 minutes a game this season.
Only Israel Folau and Michael Hooper have played more minutes than Mumm this season, with the Wallabies stars playing every moment of the seven games heading into the bye.
“Dean’s had a high workload – he’s played seven games, just about every minute,” he said.
“Dave’s been impressive, he’s come on and done well so we’ve rewarded him for performance and given Dean a spell.”
Young outside back Andrew Kellaway is set to miss up to six weeks, after breaking a bone in his throat.
Kellaway broke the bone playing for Randwick and was in hospital on Tuesday night with concerns about blood in his throat.
Rob Horne returns to the side after being a late withdrawal against the Hurricanes with a hamstring injury, pushing Israel Folau back to his preferred fullback spot.
The Waratahs will be without their ‘cornerstone’ tighthead Sekope Kepu, who has been suspended after three yellow cards.
Loosehead Paddy Ryan, who comes into the starting side with Tom Robertson to tighthead, said they wouldn’t let the absence of Kepu affect them.
“We haven’t got Keps there, which is the rock, the cornerstone of not just our scrum but of the Australian scrum over the last few years,” he said.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for Tom to prove that he can play both sides of the scrum very well, he’s been playing prominently loosehead this year.
“We just want to set a good platform, that’s your main motivation as opposed to worrying about who’s in and who’s out.
The Waratahs host the Kings on Friday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via radio on RUGBY.com.au.
IN: Angus Taavao, Harry Jones, Rob Horne, Tom Robertson, Hugh Roach
OUT: Sekope Kepu (suspension), Andrew Kellaway (hyoid), Sam Needs, Damien Fitzpatrick
Waratahs team to face the Kings
1. Paddy Ryan
2. Tolu Latu
3. Tom Robertson
4. David McDuling
5. Will Skelton
6. Ned Hanigan
7. Michael Hooper
8. Michael Wells
9. Jake Gordon
10. Bernard Foley
11. Cam Clark
12. David Horwitz
13. Rob Horne
14. Taqele Naiyaravoro
15. Israel Folau
16. Hugh Roach
17. Angus Taavao
18. David Lolohea
19. Dean Mumm
20. Jed Holloway
21. Nick Phipps
22. Bryce Hegarty
23. Harry Jones