Super Rugby AU Teams: All the lineups for round nine as Waratahs spring major surprise for do-or-die clash

Super Rugby - AU
by Christy Doran

Waratahs coach Rob Penney has thrown Tepai Moeroa in the deep end, calling up the former NRL back-rower for his first maiden Super Rugby AU match for their do-or-die match against the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday.

On the penultimate weekend of Super Rugby AU, the third-placed Waratahs (15) must beat the fourth-placed Rebels (14) to have any chance of making the top-three and qualifying for the finals given they have a bye in the final round of the regular season.

If the Waratahs were to win by a bonus-point and deny the Rebels a losing bonus-point, they would sew up third spot on the standings.

In Friday's match in the nation's capital, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has largely kept faith in the side that smashed the Waratahs a week ago.

Read on for all the team news below.

LISTEN UP! From 30 hours of gym practice to future Wallaby? Waratahs young gun James Ramm joins Rugby Nation along with injured Rebels captain Dane Haylett-Petty ahead of their Super Rugby AU showdown

Brumbies vs Western Force at GIO Stadium on Friday August 28 at 7:05pm AEST. LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy tickets here. Buy a Kayo Subscription here.

A week after making nine changes to his starting side, McKellar has made just the one change to his starting side as the Brumbies attempt to wrap up top spot on the Super Rugby AU standings and book themselves a home final on September 19.

Halfback Joe Powell is the only change to the starting side, replacing Junior Wallabies No.9 Ryan Lonergan.

"It's great to have Joey back in the squad this week," McKellar said.

"He provides a lot of leadership and he'll bring a lot of energy on the field.

Solomone Kata will play his second match at outside centre with experienced Test midfielder Tevita Kuridrani still not in the matchday team.

Up front, Connal McInerney holds his spot at hooker despite the return of Test rake Folau Fainga'a on the bench.

Teen playmaker Reesjan Pasitoa, who helped lead the Australian Schoolboys to their stunning win over New Zealand last year, comes onto the bench and will wear the No.22 jersey.

"The Force have been on the road a long time now and we know they'll be coming down here and throwing everything at us and we'll be ready for that tomorrow night," McKellar added.

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Western Force coach Tim Sampson has made a few changes to his side as they attempt to break their duck in 2020.

Most of the changes are in the backline with Jono Lance returning to the starting side at fly-half which sees Jake Strachan drop back to the bench.

Henry Taefu comes in for World Cup-winning back Richard Kahui at inside centre while USA outside back Marcel Brache comes onto the right wing.

Jack McGregor once again occupies the fullback jersey.

Henry Stowers comes in for Brynard Stander at No.8.

BRUMBIES INS: Joe Powell, Reesjan Pasitoa

   OUTS: Ryan Lonergan, Tom Cusack

FORCE       INS: Henry Stowers, Marcel Brache, Feleti Kaitu'u

     OUTS: Byron Ralston, Heath Tessmann, Tevin Ferris


Melbourne Rebels vs NSW Waratahs on Saturday 29 August at Leichhardt Oval, 7:15pm AEST. LIVE on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports. Buy tickets here. Buy a Kayo Subscription here.

Regular captain and experienced Test fullback Dane Haylett-Petty has once again been ruled out for the Rebels ahead of their showdown with the Waratahs on Saturday night in Sydney.

But in better news, Test playmaker Matt To'omua has been declared fit and will wear the 12 jersey.

Tight-head prop Jermaine Ainsley has also been named to start despite too being under an injury cloud.

The Rebels have named a settled side for their huge clash with the Waratahs.

Cameron Orr, Jordan Uelese and Ainsley make up the front-row while Trevor Hosea and Matt Philip form the second-row.

Former Waratah backrowers Michael Wells and Brad Wilkin will start either side of Test No.8 Isi Naisarani.

Fijian international Frank Lomani is the halfback inside Andrew Deegan.

Out wide Andrew Kellaway and Marika Koroibete are the wingers and Reece Hodge will once again wear the 15 jersey in the absence of Haylett-Petty.

Wessels has returned to a five forwards, three backs bench split after previously having a six, two split.

"These are the games you want to play and be a part of and everyone's just really excited for that," Wessels said.

"With everything that's happening in Victoria and wanting to play for those people, it's real motivator."

Meanwhile, Penney has called up Moeroa for the Waratahs' make or break match.

With Karmichael Hunt once again ruled out with a hamstring injury, Moeroa has been brought in to straighten up the Waratahs' attack and get them over the gain line.

It's his second match of the season after coming off the bench for nine minutes against the Reds in the opening fixture of Super Rugby AU.

He is the only change to the Tahs' starting side as Joey Walton shifts to outside centre and Lalakai Foketi dropping out of the squad.

On the bench Junior Wallabies back-rower Will Harris returns. 

REBELS INS: Jermaine Ainsley, Michael Stolberg, Tom Pincus

               OUTS: Josh Kemeny, Charles Abel, Esei Ha'angana, 

WARATAHS INS: Tepai Moeroa, Will Harris

      OUTS: Lalakai Foketi, Hugh Sinclair