Wait almost over for Folau

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 12:20
Large israel folau waratahs Large james o connor rebels Large israel folau waratahs3 Large james o connor rebels2 Large israel folau waratahs2

The wait is almost over as the Waratahs prepare to kick off their 2013 season against the Rebels in Hobart on Saturday.

The wait is almost over as the Waratahs prepare to kick off their 2013 season against the Rebels in Hobart on Saturday.

Amongst those eagerly awaiting the first outing of the new season are code-hopper and rookie Israel Folau, who will play his first game of Rugby Union since high school.

Coach Michael Cheika is also eagerly awaiting the outcome of his team's first outing.  

Also included in Cheika's 28-man squad for the first of the team's three Super Rugby curtain raisers are five other new recruits.

Amongst those pulling on the sky blue jersey for the first time are Hobart-born lock Ollie Atkins and former Rebel Luke Holmes.  

The side will be led by captain Brendan McKibbin.

The 27-year-old scrumhalf will be assisted by two vice-captains in prop Jeremy Tilse and flyhalf Bernard Foley.

Foley, part of the Wallabies training squad in 2012, will be looking to unlock the Rebels' defence and unleash the Waratahs backline that includes Folau and seasoned Wallaby centre Rob Horne.  

However, the threats aren't all out wide, as Foley has a deceptively dangerous running game, shaped from his time at fullback and days playing for the Australian Sevens team.  

And although the Rebels have opted to rest star playmaker Kurtley Beale, the match represents the return to action from injury for another of their superstars, Wallaby James O'Connor, who will no doubt be looking to prove his fitness and desire to cement a place in the Australia squad in the year of a British and Irish Lions tour Down Under.

Co-captain alongside O'Connor will be another seasoned international, influential Wales No.8 Gareth Delve.

Teams:

Rebels teams:

FIRST HALF: 15 Alex Rokobaro, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Tim Davidson, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Eddie Aholelei.

SECOND HALF: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Alex Rokobaro, 13 Tom English, 12 Lachie Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Angus Roberts, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Trent Dyer, 7 Jarrod Saffy, 6 Cadeyrn Neville, 5 James King, 4 Chris Thomson, 3 Paul Alo-Amile, 2 Pat Leafa/Shota Horie, 1 Nic Henderson (captain).

Waratahs squad: Michael Alaalatoa, Richard Aho, Kotoni Ale, Ollie Atkins, Peter Betham, Wayne Borzak, Tom Carter, Cam Crawford, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Grayson Hart, Michael Hodge, Luke Holmes, Rob Horne, AJ Gilbert, Tom Kingston, Matt Lucas, Brendan McKibbin (captain), Tolu Latu, Dane Maraki, Elijah Niko, Greg Peterson, Jeremy Tilse, Lopeti Timani, Peter Samu, Will Skelton, John Ulugia, Ben Volavola.   

Date: Saturday February 2
Venue: North Hobart Football Club, Hobart
Kick-off: 17.30 (06.30 GMT)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Ed Martin, Richard Goswell

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Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
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Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4