Polota-Nau back for Waratahs
Melbourne - The Waratahs have welcomed Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau back after a long absence due to concussion-related problems for their crunch Super Rugby match against the Reds in Sydney on Saturday.
The powerful front-rower has been named to start after missing over a month following a head-knock against Brumbies in May.
"He's looking sharp. He's scrumming well and moving well. He's had a lot of time to get his body and head right," Waratahs captain Michael Hooper told reporters on Thursday.
The Waratahs lead the Brumbies atop the Australian conference heading into the final round of the season and a home semi-final is on the line.
The Canberra-based Brumbies are level with the Waratahs on points but second by virtue of an inferior win-loss record, meaning the playoffs positions could be decided by bonus points.
The Brumbies play New Zealand's Crusaders and will hope to score four tries in a win at home to try to dislodge the reigning champion Waratahs.
The Waratahs will also welcome back hulking lock Will Skelton back from suspension for the home game.
"The boys have been saying all week, we control our destiny by the way we perform this weekend," Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper said.
"Playing a home semi-final is key to making the final, but we can't look that far ahead."
15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12
Kurtley Beale, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8
Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 David Dennis (captain),
4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Mitchell
Chapman, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Stephen Hoiles, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Peter
James O’Connor, 14 Chris Kuridrani, 13 Karmichael Hunt, 12 Samu Kerevi,
11 Lachie Turner, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam
Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2
James Hanson, 1 James Slipper (captain)
(two players to be omitted): 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Pettowa Paraka, 18
Sam Talakai, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Hendrik Tui, 22 Nick
Frisby, 23 Jake McIntyre, 24 Ben Tapuai, 25 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi