Michael Cheika has named an unchanged starting XV to face the Stormers at Allianz Stadium this Saturday.
After last week’s record 72-10 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth, the HSBC Waratahs Head Coach has backed the same players to deliver against the Stormers, choosing instead to include returning Wallabies Drew Mitchell and Berrick Barnes on an extended bench.
Back after an eight week layoff, Barnes will take the place of Ben Volavola, with Tom Kingston being replaced by Mitchell, who returns to action after suffering a hamstring injury in the opening minutes of the team’s last home game against the Chiefs three weeks ago.
Also included on the bench is towering lock Will Skelton. If the 21-year-old, who weighs in at 135kg and stands at 203cm tall, makes his debut in the game, he will become the second heaviest player in this year’s Super Rugby competition behind Chiefs’ prop Ben Tameifuna (137kg).
As part of the team’s commitment to the NSW rugby community, this round 13 match is Community Round. In an attempt to raise over $50,000 for Sydney and Country Juniors, the HSBC Waratahs will take to the field in specially commissioned Community Jerseys – all of which will be up for auction after the game – with 25 per cent of all proceeds from tickets sold through junior rugby also going towards the fund raising efforts.
Kicking off the evening at Allianz Stadium, the annual Schools’ March Past will see around 1,500 students from 25 schools across NSW proudly parade their club colours around the pitch in our before being joined by their friends and family to take in this evening’s action. At half-time, there’s women’s sevens action between Northern Suburbs and Southern Districts. After the game, Tahs on Turf will give all NSW supporters the chance to come down to the field of play and meet the players for an autograph, or simply have their photo taken on the famous Allianz Stadium turf.
HSBC Waratahs team to play the Stormers
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta)
3. Sekope Kepu (Randwick)
4. Sitaleki Timani (Southern Districts)
5. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts)
6. Dave Dennis (Sydney University, captain)
7. Michael Hooper (Manly)
8. Wycliff Palu (Manly)
9. Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
10. Bernard Foley (Sydney University)
11. Peter Betham (Sydney University)
12. Rob Horne (Southern Districts)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs)
14. Cam Crawford (Northern Suburbs)
15. Israel Folau (Sydney University)
16. John Ulugia (Eastern Suburbs)
17. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
18. Will Skelton (Sydney University)
19. Mitchell Chapman (Eastern Suburbs)
20. Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University)
21. Matt Lucas (Manly)
22. Berrick Barnes (Sydney University)
23. Drew Mitchell (Balmain)