News24

Halangahu to captain Waratahs

2012-02-23 07:42

Sydney - Daniel Halangahu is a surprise choice as Waratahs captain after Wallabies star Berrick Barnes was ruled out of Saturday's Super Rugby opener against the Reds with a groin strain.

New coach Michael Foley threw his support behind Halangahu, naming the 27-year-old as not only Barnes' replacement at five-eighth but also as team leader for the clash at ANZ Stadium.

Halangahu is the 17th most capped player in NSW rugby history, however he's spent a large chunk of the past two seasons coming off the interchange bench.

The Sydney University No 10 is also expected to take over goal kicking duties, making him the key man in almost every respect for the Waratahs big clash with the defending champions.

When Barnes came from the field in the NSW final trial last Friday, it was seen as a mere precaution.

However the Wallabies playmaker has failed to recover in time to play against his former side.

Wallabies prop Benn Robinson has been named as vice-captain and Foley said he had no hesitation in thrusting Halangahu into the leadership hot seat.

"Berrick and Daniel shared the captaincy and the No.10 duties in both our trial matches and both were well placed to lead us in the first match," Foley said.

"We are confident in Daniel's ability as a player and a leader."

Prized recruits Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sarel Pretorius will make their NSW Super Rugby debuts while young guns Brackin Karauria-Henry and Tom Kingston have been given their opportunities on the wings following the injury woes of Lachie Turner and Drew Mitchell.

Teams:

Waratahs: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Brackin Karauria-Henry, 10 Daniel Halangahu (captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Lopeti Timani, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Bernard Foley, 22 Nathan Trist.

Reds:
15 Luke Morahan, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Anthony Faingaa, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 James Horwill (capt), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley.

Substitutes: 16 Albert Anae, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Van Humphries, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Jono Lance.

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