Waratahs forced to bring in young guns
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Waratahs head coach Rob Penney has named a squad full of young talent to take on the Reds, headlined by Will Harris and Joey Walton – with both set to make their debut.
They’ll join the likes of fellow Junior Wallabies Angus Bell, Will Harrison and Mark Nawanqanitawase in the run-on side.
Tom Horton, Tiaan Tauakipulu and Ben Donaldson are also in line to make their professional debuts from the bench, they’ll be alongside the experienced trio of Tetera Faulkner, Tom Staniforth and Jack Dempsey who will provide Penney with plenty of options throughout the season-opener.
Ned Hanigan returns from injury to partner Rob Simmons in the second row, Jack Maddocks plays at fullback and Mitch Short will start in place of the injured Jake Gordon.
Alex Newsome will partner Joey Walton in midfield and has also been named vice-captain, his first official leadership role within the Waratahs set up.
Waratahs: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Joey Walton, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Will Harris, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Tiaan Tauakipulu, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Michael McDonald, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Tepai Moeroa.
Date: Friday, July 3
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.05 (09.05 GMT)
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant referees: Damon Murphy, Jordan Way
TMO: Ian Smith