Waratahs name side for 'extremely physical' Lions
Sydney - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has made one change to his starting XV for their Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
Kick-off is at 11:45 SA time.
Tom Staniforth returns to the starting line-up for the first time since Round 4 against the Jaguares, joining Rob Simmons in the second row.
Ned Hanigan will slot back in at blindside flank, while Will Miller will make his impact off the bench that has taken a 6/2 forwards/backs formation.
Gibson says the decision to include an extra forward is to combat the physicality and the firepower the 2017 Super Rugby finalists will bring with their set piece.
“In the forward pack, we brought Tom Staniforth in and moved Will Miller to the bench. The reasons for that is we see this game being extremely physical and we wanted to have some bigger bodies in our forward pack to cater for the big South African forward pack that will be presented on Friday night,” Gibson told the Waratahs' official website.
“We see that while the Lions have a real strength in their scrum, we have also opted to cover some injury concerns going into this game with a bolstered 6/2 bench with the forwards being catered for there.
“It’s always a risk going 6-2 because you’re one short in the backs, but we are willing to take that risk in preparation to what we see is going to be a hugely physical encounter.
"While we are one of the smaller packs going around, we are punching above our weight and we have certainly cleaned up our vulnerabilities in terms of stopping lineout drives. We see that as a real strength the Lions possess, and something we are going to have to be very good in stopping on Friday night.”
15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damian Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Will Miller. 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Lalakai Foketi
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Dillon Smit, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Franco Mostert (captain), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza