No radical change for Waratahs in final match

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs have opted against radical change for their last round clash against the Force, making just three changes to the side that lost to the Jaguares.

Taqele Naiyaravoro will come into the starting team for Saturday's match against what is likely to be an emotionally-charged Force side, with Bryce Hegarty ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Despite a dismal defeat at the hands of the Jaguares, Gibson has kept the faith in his fit starters from that round 16 matchup.

Gibson said he had been tempted to start Andrew Kellaway on the wing, but opted to give the mammoth Naiyaravoro the nod after a strong finish against the Jaguares.

"We felt he (Naiyaravoro) had excellent impact.and deserved another opportunity on the right wing," he said.

"Certainly Andrew Kellaway is one that came to mind, (be's been) filling in there all week and training well."

Nick Phipps will make his return from ankle syndesmosis in Perth, after the injury ruled him out of the Wallabies' June Series, but he will have to do that off the bench with Jake Gordon Gibson's preferred starter.

Gibson said they wanted to ease Phipps back in, with the Wallabies season looming.

"He hasn’t played since the Highlanders game - that was over six weeks ago, so there’s bound to be a little bit of rustiness," he said.

"So we decided against starting him, go with Jake and give him some time off the bench because his ambitions are far greater once the Australian season kicks in.

In the forward pack, young prop Dave Lolohea will replace Paddy Ryan, who has suffered an elbow injury.

Tolu Latu will be absent for another week, after suffering from a bulging disc in his neck, with Damien Fitzpatrick to start at hooker after impressing against the Jaguares.

Rookie flyhalf Mack Mason will come off the bench, after making his starting debut against the Crusaders earlier this year.

The Waratahs take on the Force in Perth on Saturday night, kicking off at 5:45pm AWST, 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO.


IN: Nick Phipps, Mack Mason, David Lolohea

OUT: Matt Lucas, Bryce Hegarty (hamstring), Paddy Ryan (elbow)

Waratahs to take on the Force

1. Tom Robertson

2. Damien Fitzpatrick

3. Sekope Kepu

4. Ned Hanigan

5. Dean Mumm

6. Jack Dempsey

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. David Lolohea

18. Angus Taavao

19. David McDuling

20. Ryan McCauley

21. Nick Phipps

22. Mack Mason

23. Andrew Kellaway