On Saturday they meet in Sydney, Waratahs and Reds at 6.15 hour live on ESPN Play, two teams that need victory to avoid losing their footing to Brumbies, who cuts himself only in the tournament. Locals will make 2 changes in the starting fifteen while outsiders will only make 1 change.
After a week off, Waratahs coach Rob Penney named a largely unchanged starting lineup to face the Reds for the second time this Super Rugby AU season.
Rob Simmons, who will join London Irish at the end of the tournament, will start despite the week he was unable to train normally due to a blow to the ribs against the Rebels. Those who enter are Jake Gordon, he earned a place after entering from the bench on date 4, and Lalakai Koketi who will replace Joey Walton in the center of the court. Angus Bell will be one of the new faces on the substitute bench after he recovered from a back problem. Hugh Sinclair will make his first appearance for Waratahs after a series of injuries.
On the Reds side, Jordan Petaia will start as wing for Chris Feauai who suffered a calf injury and there will be 3 changes on the bench. Zane Nonggorr, potentially set to make his Super Rugby AU debut this weekend, is a 19-year-old M18 Schoolboys representative from Australia and Queensland and was part of the Reds Academy for the past two years.
Tuaina Taii Tualima is back at 23 this week in place of Ryan Smith, while Josh Flook also joins the team. Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “This is a great rivalry: Queensland and New South Wales. There is a lot of history between the two teams. They are always tough games and we look forward to the kick off. Our defense, the physicality and the effort of the boys have been excellent, but we have a lot to improve to continue growing ”.
WARATAHS: 1- Tom Robertson, 2- Tom Horton, 3- Harry Johnson Holmes; 4- Ned Hanigan, 5- Rob Simmons (c), 6- Lachlan Swinton, 7- Michael Hooper, 8- Jack Dempsey; 9- Jake Gordon, 10- Will Harrison; 11- Alex newsome, 12- Karmichael Hunt, 13- Lalakai Foketi, 14- James Ramm; Jack Maddocks.
Substitutes: 16- Andrew Tuala, 17- Angus Bell, 18- Faulkner Teapot, 19- Tom Staniforth, 20- Hugh Sinclair, 21- Short Mitch, 22- Joey Walton, 23- Ben Donaldson.
REDS: 1- Dane Zander, 2- Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3- Taniela Tupou; 4- Angus Blyth, 5- Lukhan Salakaia-Loto; 6- Angus Scott-Young, 7- Liam Wright (c), 8- Harry Wilson; 9- Scott Malolua, 10- James O’Connor; 11- Filipo Daugunu, 12- Hamish Stewart, 13- Hunter Paisami, 14- Jordan Petaia; 15- Jock Campbell.
Substitutes: 16- Alex Mafi, 17- Jack Straker, 18- Zane Nonggorr, 19- Tuaina Taii Tualima, 20- Fraser McReight, 21- Tate McDermott, 22- Bryce Hegarty, 23- Josh Flook.