Four changes have been made to the NSW Waratahs starting team for this Friday’s ultimate clash against the Blues in Auckland, in what will be the 1000th NSW game since 1882.
Following a powerhouse display from the young flanker last week, Jack Dempsey has been named to start in the number six jersey, with Super rugby centurion Dean Mumm shifting to the second row.
Club Captain, Dave Dennis will play one of his last matches for the NSW Waratahs in the number eight jersey, after a concerted display against the Hurricanes last weekend.
Speedster, Reece Robinson, who has already scored five tries in his debut rugby season this year, moves into the starting right wing position, in place of Taqele Naiyaravoro who is serving a one week suspension.
Wycliff Palu will once again provide a welcome boost in the reserves, while Jim Stewart will have the chance to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
The well-built 22-year-old back has been a standout for the Sydney University Club as a product of the NSW rugby pathways.
Should he make it onto the park he will be the eighth Waratah this season to make their NSW debut. Out of the eight, six have crossed for their debut tries this season in what is a positive sign of things to come amongst the Club’s next generation of talent.
This week’s game will see Nick Phipps become the second Waratah, after Matt Carraro last weekend, to reach his 50th game for NSW.
The NSW Waratahs team to take on the Auckland Blues this Friday 15 July is below (Super Rugby caps are in brackets).
The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2 (Channel 502) from 5:30pm AEST (7:30pm Auckland time).
1. Paddy Ryan (76 caps)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (140 caps)
3. Tom Robertson (12 caps)
4. Dean Mumm (100 caps)
5. Will Skelton (52 caps)
6. Jack Dempsey (13 caps)
7. Michael Hooper (C – 95 caps)
8. Dave Dennis (VC – 106 caps)
9. Nick Phipps (96 caps)
10. Bernard Foley (76 caps)
11. Matt Carraro (54 caps)
12. Rob Horne 101 caps)
13. Israel Folau (59 caps)
14. Reece Robinson (12 caps)
15. Andrew Kellaway (10 caps)
16. Hugh Roach (20 caps)
17. Jeremy Tilse (59 caps)
18. Angus Ta’avao (62 caps)
19. Sam Lousi (17 caps)
20. Wycliff Palu (133 caps)
21. Matt Lucas (26 caps)
22. David Horwitz (12 caps)
23. Jim Stewart (uncapped – potential NSW and Super Rugby debut)