Waratahs get a huge boost for Brumbies clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Waratahs have named their team to face the Brumbies in Round Seven of Super Rugby AU.
Waratahs co-coaches Chris Whitaker and Jason Gilmore have made five changes to their starting team.
In a huge boost for the side, Waratahs captain Jake Gordon makes his return from a syndesmosis injury suffered in Round One against the Reds partnering Will Harrison in the halves.
Waratahs co-coach Chris Whitaker was thrilled to have the skipper back in the side.
“It’s good to have Jake back in the team, obviously Jack Grant has done an amazing job but having Jake’s leadership out in the field is going to be crucial for us,” Whitaker said.
Wallaby Angus Bell returns to the starting front row at loosehead, pushing Harry Johnson-Holmes back to tighthead. Dave Porecki, fresh after being named in the first Wallabies squad of the year, is once again the starting hooker.
Jeremy Williams and Max Douglas will lock the scrum after Sam Wykes (bicep) and Sam Caird (concussion) were both ruled out.
Despite the loss of Caird and Wykes, Whitaker has been impressed with his young locks.
“I’m expecting them to lift to the occasion. Its only Maxi’s second game and he’s straight in the starting position while Jez made his debut earlier in the year, every game they play they keep getting better,” said Whitaker.
“Will Harris, the Waratahs best on the ground last week against the Reds, joins Hugh Sinclair and Carlo Tizzano in the back row.
Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese continue build their partnership in the midfield while the back-three comprises of Alex Newsome, James Ramm and Jack Maddocks.
The bench features some new faces with Charlie Gamble and Michael Wood both set to make their Super Rugby and Waratahs debuts off the bench.
Waratahs: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 James Ramm, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Carlo Tizzano, 6 Hugh Sinclair, 5 Max Douglas, 4 Jeremy Williams, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Tom Horton, 17 Te Tera Faulkner, 18 Darcy Breen, 19 Michael Wood, 20 Charlie Gamble, 21 Jack Grant, 22 Tane Edmed, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase.
Date: Friday, April 2
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.45 (08.45 GMT)
Assistant referees: TBC