Cheika opted for a split of four forwards and three backs
Berrick Barnes will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season on Friday, when the Waratahs host the Cheetahs at Allianz Stadium.
The inclusion of Barnes at inside centre is one of six personnel and two positional changes made by head coach Michael Cheika to the team that lost to the Brumbies last weekend.
Also returning to the starting XV is Pat McCutcheon, who takes over at No.8 in place of the injured Wycliff Palu, allowing captain Dave Dennis to revert his preferred position on the blindside flank.
Out wide, a new wing combination sees Wallaby Lachie Turner elevated from the bench to partner up with newcomer Peter Betham.
A standout in last season’s NPC in New Zealand, Betham returns from a trial match ankle injury to take over from Drew Mitchell. Fullback Ben Volavola reverts to the bench in place of Israel Folau, who shifts back into the No.15 jersey.
In the only remaining changes to the pack, hooker John Ulugia takes over from the injured Tatafu Polota-Nau, whilst Paddy Ryan gets a start at tight-head.
On the bench, Cheika has opted for a split of four forwards and three backs, with Rob Horne included in a match day 22 for the first time after returning from a hamstring injury sustained in a pre-season trial.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Pat McCutcheon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Rob Horne.
Date: Friday, March 15
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick off: 19.40 (10.40 SA time; 08.40 GMT)
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)