Wallaby boost for Winless Waratahs
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Waratahs have made three changes to their starting team for their clash against the Western Force.
In a huge boost for the side, Waratahs enforcer Lachlan Swinton makes his return from a foot tendon injury suffered in Round five against the Rebels reuniting in the backrow with Will Harris and Carlo Tizzano.
Talented flyhalf Will Harrison has been ruled out with a hamstring complaint paving the way for Ben Donaldson to make his return to the starting side. Donaldson played his first match of the season last week, starring in Randwick’s win over West Harbour in the opening round of the Charter Hall Shute Shield.
Hugh Sinclair moves from blindside flank into the second row, partnering Max Douglas who had a strong showing in his starting debut against the Brumbies in round seven.
Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese continue build their impressive partnership in the midfield while the back-three again comprises of Alex Newsome, James Ramm and Jack Maddocks.
Waratahs Co-Coach Chris Whitaker is happy with the balance in his midfield pairing.
“They kind of complement each other really well” Whitaker said.
“Izzy running with the ball is quite threatening and very dangerous, while Lalakai is great in that distribution role, so they’re working up a nice little combination there”
The Waratahs Co-Coaches Whitaker and Jason Gilmore have gone with a six-two split on the bench looking for plenty of impact from their forwards late in the game.
Sam Caird makes his return to the side after missing the match against the Brumbies through concussion and is named alongside abrasive youngster Jeremy Williams and the newly capped Charlie Gamble.
“We know how physical the Force are going to be, up front they’re a very big forward pack” Whitaker said.
“Generally, when you play the Force there’s a lot of ball in play time, so the big guys tend to tire out. So, we want to have some more cavalry up front, fresh legs and plenty of punch off the bench”.
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 Tom Horton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Sam Caird, 20 Jeremy Williams, 21 Charlie Gamble, 22 Jack Grant, 23 Tane Edmed
Date: Saturday, April 17
Venue: HBF Park, Perth
Kick-off: 17.45 (19.45 AEST, 11.45 GMT)
Referee: Amy Perrett
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper & Matthew Kellahan
TMO: James Leckie