Latu sidelined for Jaguares match

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu has been ruled out of Saturday night's clash with the Jaguares for 'personal reasons'.

NSW coach Daryl Gibson made the announcement on Friday morning, keeping the explanation brief. 

"Tolu Latu missed training yesterday due to personal reasons so we've made a change there with Damien Fitzpatrick coming in and Hugh Roach," he said.

"Tolu will obviously be available for selection next week but it's a change we've made."

Though the Waratahs were tight-lipped on the reasons for Latu's last-minute cut, describing it as 'personal', it is believed it is because the hooker missed a training session on Thursday, posting a photo on Instagram attending his partner’s graduation.

While no official call has been made yet, Latu looks likely to line up in the Shute Shield for Sydney Uni against ladder leaders Manly.

When asked about Latu's withdrawal, Waratahs captain Michael Hooper said it was simply a good opportunity for Fitzpatrick and Roach.

"It’s good for those guys to get a chance," he said.

'Tolu’s dominated that starting spot a lot this year and due to reasons (he won't be playing).

"Someone like Fitzy’s just been really chipping away waiting for that opportunity to get a start and Roachy’s been there or thereabouts all year and he’s one of the hardest trainers week in, week out.

"It’s been probably the most competitive spot in the team this yar that hooker role so glad for guys getting the opportnuity tomorrow night."

Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley and lock Dean Mumm were both absentees at Friday's captain's run with illness, but are expected to be fit to play on Saturday.

Mack Mason was running at starting 10 as cover for Foley on Friday morning.

The Waratahs take on the Jaguares on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO.