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    Folau switched to centre

    2016-04-14 10:15

    Sydney - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has moved fullback Israel Folau to outside centre for their home Super Rugby match against the Brumbies on Saturday as the Sydney side desperately chase a win to put their season back on track.

    The Waratahs' 21-17 loss to the Melbourne Rebels left them with a perilous 2-3 record heading into the midway point of the season, six points behind the Australian conference-leading Brumbies and Rebels.

    Making his first Super Rugby start in the position, Folau will partner Kurtley Beale in the centres, with the Wallabies utility returning from an elbow injury, the team said on Thursday.

    Gibson has also taken the axe to his forward pack, dumping club captain Dave Dennis to the bench and bringing the imposing Will Skelton into the starting side to partner fellow Wallabies lock Dean Mumm in the second row.

    The Brumbies were annihilated by New Zealand's Chiefs at home in their last match, with Wallabies flanker David Pocock later suspended for grabbing an opponent's neck.

    Loose forward Ita Vaea's shock retirement earlier this week due to a heart condition further unsettled the Canberra team's plans.

    Jarrad Butler, who has not played in over a month due to injury, will replace Pocock, with Jordan Smiler to fill Vaea's spot at No 8 for the away match in Sydney.

    Teams:

    Waratahs

    15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Benn Robinson

    Substitutes: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 David Dennis, 22 Matt Lucas, 23 David Horwitz

    Brumbies

    TBA

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
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    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
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