Barnes in Sydney swansong
Thu, 11 Jul 2013 09:01
It makes you want to turn it on more than ever
Berrick Barnes will pull on the light blue jumper for the last time on Saturday, as he returns to the Waratahs starting line-up for their final Super Rugby match of the season - against the Reds in Sydney.
The match will mark the Waratahs swansong for five players.
Barnes is heading to Japan, Sitaleki Timani is off to France, Tom Carter calling time on a 10-year NSW career, while Tom Kingston and John Ulugia are also departing.
Another departing player, Drew Mitchell, was not available for selection - after picking up an ankle injury on club duty two weeks ago.
Barnes will line up alongside Rob Horne in midfield, with Adam Ashley-Cooper ruled out of contention by an ankle injury sustained in last week's third Test against the British and Irish Lions.
The injury absences of fellow Wallabies Israel Folau and Wycliff Palu create starting opportunities for Tom Kingston and Jed Holloway.
Kingston will wear No.14, with Cam Crawford moving to fullback and with Holloway at blindside flank.
Captain Dave Dennis will play his second match of the season at No. 8.
After losing the past four encounters, the Waratahs will be looking to regain the Templeton Cup for the first time since 2011, when they posted a 30-6 victory over Queensland at the first game between the two sides to be played at ANZ Stadium.
Duels between NSW and Queensland always draw a strong crowd, with fans and players relishing the chance to get stuck in to their inter-state rivals, especially so soon after playing on the same side as each other against the Lions.
"The way it's scheduled straight after the guys have been playing together, when you get the chance to play against them it makes you want to turn it on more than ever," said Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika.
"Friendships you make during that block you're prepared to break in 80 minutes on the field. That leads to a stronger mentality and that's something I want to teach them."
With Tatafu Polota Nau unavailable for selection having failed to recover completely from a broken forearm suffered against the Brumbies in May, John Ulugia will start at hooker in his last match for the club.
Cheika has named an extended eight-man bench which will be narrowed down ahead of gameday.
Waratahs: 15 Cam Crawford, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements - from: Luke Holmes, Jeremy Tilse, Will Skelton, Pat McCutcheon, Mitchell Chapman, Matt Lucas, Tom Carter, Ben Volavola.
Date: Saturday, July 13
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (09.40 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: James Leckie (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
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