Waratahs to front Lions pack with 'attacking mentality'
Johannesburg - Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu says their forwards are excited about the challenge of facing a heavyweight Lions pack in the Super Rugby semi-finals on Saturday.
Kepu and centre Kurtley Beale are the only two survivors in the Waratahs team from the one which last tasted success at Ellis Park in 2009.
The Sydneysiders are bracing for a massive physical onslaught and the one change in their starting XV comes in the front row where Tolu Latu replaces Damien Fitzpatrick at hooker.
Kepu told the Sydney Morning Herald that they will front the Lions pack "with an attacking mentality".
"You’ve got to go out there and hope and hold the scrum, because they’re a heavy pack. The challenge is to go out there and be an attacking scrum as much as we can be,” the Wallaby prop said.
He added that the front row would adjust seamlessly to the line-up shuffle.
‘‘There’s not much difference to be honest,’’ Kepu said. ‘‘I get to scrummage with both (Latu and Fitzpatrick) over the last few weeks and I’ve scrummaged with Tolu for a long time now. They’ve got strengths in different areas and to be fair Tolu’s been going really well since he’s come on and he’s been fighting for that starting spot, and that’s brought best out of both of them.’’
Saturday’s match is scheduled for 15:05.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Louren Erasmus, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Hacjivah Dayimani, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Courtnall Skosan, 23 Howard Mnisi
15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Cam Clark