Sydney - Former Blue Bull lock Hendrik Roodt will make his debut for the Waratahs in their pre-season friendly against the Reds on Saturday.
While no current Wallabies were selected for the match, Roodt’s inclusion, alongside that of former All Black Sosene Anesi – who moved to the Waratahs from the Chiefs in the off-season, will attract the most attention.
Roodt has been included in the second row alongside Kane Douglas and will be keen to impress his new bosses.
The only Wallaby in the squad is Dave Dennis - a midweek tourist from last year’s tour.
We’ve been going pretty hard since November so it’s exciting to get to the point of getting players on the park and putting everything into practice in a game situation,” coach Chris Hickey said.
“Trials give individuals good opportunities to push their claims which is what you want to see, and you also want to see the team collectively playing to the structures you’ve put in place.
“It’s the nature of trials that you’ll see a number of different combinations on the park and the ability to keep those structures in place no matter who is on the field goes a long way to building confidence throughout the entire squad.”
Josh Holmes returns to the Waratahs in 2010 and gets the first opportunity in the No 9 jersey, while Sydney University pair Daniel Halangahu and Tom Carter have been named in the midfield. Halangahu will lead the side in the match.
Nemani Nadolo makes his long-awaited first appearance for the Waratahs on the wing after a stress fracture in his foot ended his 2009 campaign last January. He is partnered on the opposite flank by former Brumbies flyer Peter Betham who has prepared with the squad as part of the wider training group since late last year. Anesi is the fullback.
“Some young players and some strong club players always get opportunities in these kind of matches and we’re really happy with some of the players we have selected,” said Hickey. “Ben Seymour and Alex Rokobaro aren’t part of the professional Junior Waratahs squad, but they have trained really well and deserve their places in the squad.
“Jacob Woodhouse is straight out of the Australian Schoolboys and has great potential, while Hugh Perrett, Dylan Sigg and Tom Azar are established players at club level, and you know they will never let you down if they get the opportunity.”
Hickey said that he is expecting a tough hit out from a Queensland side determined to turn around a number of underperforming seasons in the Super 14.
“The Reds are always tough – it doesn’t matter whether it is a trial or a competition game,” said Hickey. “They have no shortage of talent throughout the squad, they’ve named two Wallaby tourists and a 20-Test centre so they’re definitely going to be primed for the encounter. We’d expect nothing less.”
Sosene Anesi, Nemani Nadolo, Rory Sidey, Tom Carter, Peter Betham, Daniel Halangahu (captain), Josh Holmes, Locky McCaffrey, Chris Alcock, Dave Dennis, Hendrik Roodt, Kane Douglas, Dan Palmer, Damien Fitzpatrick, Jeremy Tilse
Substitutes: Luke Holmes, Ofa Faingaanuku, Chris Thomson, Will Caldwell, Brendan McKibbin, Ben Seymour, Adam DArcy, Paddy Ryan, Dylan Sigg, Hugh Perrett, Tom Azar, Alex Rokobaro, Jacob Woodhouse