Bloemfontein - Speedy wing Lachie Turner has been shifted to fullback in a new-look backline as the Waratahs prepare to take on the Cheetahs in a Super 14 match in Bloemfontein on Friday.
After weeks of stodgy performances at home, the Waratahs have finally gone attack-minded and selected a re-arranged backline they hope will allow them to score four tries against the last-placed Cheetahs.
If it's any comfort to long-suffering Waratahs supporters, it's the urgent need for bonus point wins rather than desire to entertain South African fans in their three games there that prompted the changes.
Turner switches from the right wing to fullback with Sam Norton-Knight dropping to the bench in a move which should provide more attacking thrust from the back where usually the option has been to kick.
After being dropped as the Waratahs' flyhalf four weeks ago, the exciting Kurtley Beale has earned a recall at inside centre, relegating Tom Carter to the bench, with Daniel Halangahu retaining the flyhalf berth.
With Rob Horne still on the injured list, he'll form a centre partnership with Timana Tahu while Peter Playford comes into the vacant wing spot in his first start of the season.
Brett Sheehan retains the starting scrumhalf role ahead of last season's regular Wallaby starter, Luke Burgess.
Wallabies prop Al Baxter makes his return from a calf injury in the only adjustment to the forward pack.
Waratahs coach Chris Hickey has calculated that his team needs at least two bonus point wins from its three remaining regular season matches if it's to make the semis.
“The backline certainly has a new look to it and hopefully that will bring results on Friday,” Hickey said.
“What we've come up with for this first match of the tour is something a little bit different, but the players we've selected have all trained in those positions and many have played there in games as well, so we're confident everyone can perform the roles we've asked them to.
Captain Phil Waugh will play his 108th Super rugby match, taking him past former skipper Chris Whitaker as NSW's most-capped player at this level.
Hickey said the Waratahs wouldn't be taking the Cheetahs lightly despite their position on the table.
“The Cheetahs knocked over the Sharks a couple of weeks ago when they were on top of the table and beat the defending champions (Crusaders) last week, which is a sign of just how strong this competition is,” said Hickey.
Lachie Turner, Peter Playford, Timana Tahu, Kurtley Beale, Lote Tuqiri, Daniel Halangahu, Brett Sheehan, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (captain), Ben Mowen, Will Caldwell, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.
Replacements - Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Chris Thomson, Luke Doherty, Luke Burgess, Sam Norton-Knight, Tom Carter.