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    Bok flank on Waratahs bench

    2014-02-18 10:14
    Jacques Potgieter (Gallo Images)
    Cape Town - Springbok flank Jacques Potgieter has been picked on the Waratahs bench for their Super Rugby opener against the Force in Sydney on Sunday.

    The 27-year-old, who has three Springbok caps to his name, played for the Bulls last year before signing a contract with the Fukuoka Sanix Blues in Japan.

    He joined the 'Tahs for this year's Super Rugby competition in the hope of still catching the eye of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

    Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika named his team on Tuesday and included Bernard Foley in the No 10 jersey, with Kurtley Beale starting at inside centre.

    According to the Waratahs' official website, the multi-talented Israel Folau starts in the No 15 jersey and making his debut on the right wing is the quick-stepping Alofa Alofa, whilst Wallaby Peter Betham is on the left.

    In his favourite position at outside centre and partnering Beale, is Adam Ashley-Cooper.

    Joining the franchise after a stint with the Rebels, scrumhalf Nick Phipps becomes the fourth member of his family to play for the Waratahs.

    In the pack, the front row is all-Wallaby, with Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota-Nau teaming up with Paddy Ryan, who edges out Sekope Kepu.

    “Both have their pluses and there is very little between them but Paddy has had a little bit more aggression and grunt in the trials,” said Cheika on his decision.

    Selecting the locks has been one of the hardest decisions for the coach, who has opted for Kane Douglas and 21-year-old Will Skelton, with Potgieter on the bench.

    “I think Skelton has done enough to warrant an opportunity.”

    Captain Dave Dennis and Michael Hooper are the flankers, with the seasoned Wycliff Palu playing No 8.

    Kick-off is at 07:05 (SA time) on Sunday.

    Teams:

    Waratahs:

    15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

    Substitutes: 16 Tola Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Stephen Hoiles/Pat McCutcheon, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Rob Horne, 23 Matt Carraro/Cam Crawford

    Force:

    TBA

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