Waratahs spring major midfield surprise
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Waratahs will play out their final home fixture of Super Rugby AU this weekend, as they take on the Melbourne Rebels at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.
Rob Penney has named his final matchday 23 for the regular season, as his side press their claims for a Finals berth in a must-win clash.
It’s a largely unchanged squad for Penney, who has continued with the core group of players that have featured over the majority of the competition to date.
Despite being given every opportunity to prove his fitness, Karmichael Hunt has been ruled out after being a late scratching ahead of the Waratahs trip to Canberra last weekend.
Tepai Moeroa has been named in his place, earning his first start in Super Rugby AU. After making his Waratahs debut last week in Canberra, Nick Malouf retains his spot on the bench alongside Ben Donaldson and Mitch Short.
Will Harris also returns to the reserves after an extended injury lay-off due to an ankle injury.
Waratahs: 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Joey Walton, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Angus Bell, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Harris, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Nick Malouf.
Date: Saturday, August 29
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.15 (09.15 GMT)
Referee: Graham Cooper
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, Amy Perrett
TMO: James Leckie