Struggling Waratahs unchanged for Rebels
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Waratahs have named their team to face the Melbourne Rebels on Saturday in Round Ten of Super Rugby AU 2021.
Waratahs co-coaches Chris Whitaker and Jason Gilmore have named the same starting XV that took the field against the Force in Round Nine, while making two changes to the interchange bench.
Fresh off a composed Super Rugby run-on debut against the Force, Ben Donaldson will again partner skipper Jake Gordon in the halves. Donaldson finished the match against the Force with a perfect six from six the boot, for a personal tally of 15 points.
Angus Bell, Dave Porecki and Harry Johnson-Holmes make up the front row for the third consecutive week. Bell played the full 80-minutes for this first time this season, making an equal team high 11 carries.
Carlo Tizzano leads the competition for tackles made with 136 in his seven matches in 2021, including 27 against the Force last weekend. Tizzano is joined in the back row by Wallaby Lachie Swinton and Will Harris.
Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese form a damaging midfield partnership, with Perese having his best game of the season last weekend, making eight tackle busts and four offloads in just nine carries against the Force.
Jack Maddocks will face his former side for the fourth time since joining the Waratahs and reunites with James Ramm and Alex Newsome in the back-three.
The Waratahs co-coaches have again gone with a six-two split on the bench looking for plenty of impact from their forwards late in the game.
Michael Wood makes his return to the side in place of Sam Caird while Joe Cotton is set to play his first Waratahs game of the season off the bench with Tom Horton ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered at training.
Waratahs: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 James Ramm, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Max Douglas, 4 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Joe Cotton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Jeremy Williams, 20 Michael Wood, 21 Charlie Gamble, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Tane Edmed.
Date: Saturday, April 24
Venue: Western Sydney Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-off: 19.45 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Amy Perrett, Brett Cronan
TMO: James Leckie