'Tahs ring changes for Sharks
Cape Town - Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has made six changes and brought in four new faces to his starting line up to face the Sharks in a Super Rugby clash in Durban on Saturday.
According to the Waratahs' official website
, Jonno Lance will make his debut in the light blue No 15 jersey, deputising for the injured Israel Folau.
The only player in the squad to win a Super Rugby title, Lance came to the Waratahs to play in the midfield but with Cheika refusing to tamper with the growing Bernard Foley-Kurtley Beale 10-12 combination, he gets his chance from fullback.
That chance comes as the result of Folau being ruled out after copping a knock to the throat, 20 minutes in to Friday’s game against the Rebels.
Although he was able to play on until the 75th minute, the medical staff held him back from flying out to South Africa with the team last Saturday. Although expected to join his team-mates when the swelling subsided a few days later, the injury to his cricoid cartilage has not reacted as expected which has forced his travel schedule to be revised.
In the forwards Benn Robinson is back at loosehead prop in place of Paddy Ryan, while Wycliff Palu will play his 100th game for the Waratahs when he runs on at No 8. Both came off the bench against the Rebels last week.
They’re not the only changes with Cheika again shuffling the pack. South African Jacques Potgieter moves from flank to lock, where he lines up alongside Kane Douglas, forcing Will Skelton to the bench.
No 8 last week, skipper Dave Dennis will start at blindside flanker, with Michael Hooper retained at openside.
Nick Phipps and Foley continue as the halfback pairing, and Beale retains the No 12 jersey. Beale would have been considered the logical replacement for Folau at fullback but, with the 'Tahs midfield the success story of the year so far, Cheika is reluctant to change the formula that has launched much of the Waratahs’ running game and been the catalyst for three wins from four games.
Adam Ashley-Cooper will continue as Beale’s centre partner and Peter Betham won’t be moving off the right wing.
His size and power have seen Rob Horne selected to start for the first time this season, in place of the fast feet of left wing Alofa Alofa.
Kick-off at Kings Park is at 17:05 on Saturday.Teams:Sharks:
15 Jono Lance, 14 Rob Horne, 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 (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.