'Tahs pick for Lions clash
Sydney - Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has made one change to his starting line-up for their Super Rugby clash against the Lions on Sunday, the team's official website
After a standout performance off the bench in the 39-30 home win over the Hurricanes on May 3, the biggest player in the Waratahs squad, Will Skelton, will start for the sixth time this season.
“I haven’t left him out on purpose, he’s played some good football this season and his game against the Hurricanes was another step up,” said Cheika.
The 21-year-old tips the scales at close to 140kg and will bring some added weight to the Waratahs pack who is up against a massive Lions forward pack.
“The Lions have been excellent in the scrum. They've pretty much dominated nearly every opposition that they've come up against, or they've had a really good contest with them, and it's going to be a big battle for our forwards out there,” said Cheika.
Springbok loose forward Jacques Potgieter drops back to the bench but the explosive ball runner and hit man is sure to get plenty of time on the field, after being forced off early with a leg injury against the Hurricanes.
A ankle injury to the Waratahs back-up hooker Tola Latu has opened the door for Hugh Roach to take his place on the bench.
The Waratahs’ versatility has allowed them to name five forwards, a scrumhalf and two wings on the bench with Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley Cooper, Rob Horne and Matt Carraro all starting and capable and comfortable of playing in numerous positions in the backline.
Undefeated at home this season, the 'Tahs will chase a ninth straight win over the Lions.
Kick-off for Sunday's game is scheduled for 08:05 (SA time).Teams:Waratahs:
15 Israel Folau, 14. Matt Carraro, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Rob Horne, 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 (from): 16. Hugh Roach, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Jacques Potgieter, 20. Stephen Hoiles, 21. Brendan McKibbin, 22. Alofa Alofa, 23. Taqele NaiyaravoroLions: