Johannesburg - The Waratahs have made two significant shifts in their side to face the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this weekend after their 27-6 loss to the Vodacom Stormers at Newlands.
Not only has young Daniel Halangahu been shifted into the flyhalf role, but Wallaby Berrick Barnes has been moved into inside centre for the clash against the defending Vodacom Super 14 champions.
Halangahu has been more impressive off the bench in the first two rounds of the Super 14, yet the move can be seen as a dramatic shift to try and rectify the wrongs of Newlands where Barnes was given no space to move and had little success with his attacking runs.
Kurtley Beale, who also was disappointing in Cape Town, has moved onto the bench, with the Waratahs hoping for a more free-ranging role for him when the game opens up.
“Daniel’s done a really good job when he’s come on at the back end of the game; he gives us really good game management and we think that by having Daniel along with Berrick there at 10 and 12 we’ll have good game management throughout the whole game,” Waratahs head coach Chris Hickey said of the change.
“Kurtley will play some time off the bench in this game and with his versatility he can cover a lot of positions in the backline.
“At the end of the match when the game starts to open up a bit, you hope there’ll be a few opportunities there for Kurtley.”
In the other change to the team, Wallaby tourist Dave Dennis comes in at lock with youngster Locky McCaffrey on the bench to cover the spot left by Dennis.
“We thought Dave performed well for us when he came on against the Stormers, and he’ll bring some things to the game we’ll need for the way we’re hoping to play on Saturday,” said Hickey. “He brings aggression, he’s got good mobility, good speed around the park and he’s an explosive jumper in the lineouts – he covers all those areas which are going to be important in the match against the Bulls.”
The Waratahs have decided not to follow the Brumbies lead and have opted to stay in Cape Town, only coming up to Pretoria on Friday night.
Waratahs team: Sosene Anesi; Lachie Turner, Tom Carter, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell; Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess; Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Ben Mowen, Kane Douglas, Dave Dennis, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.
Substitutes: Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Will Caldwell, Locky McCaffrey, Josh Holmes, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne.