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Beale to direct Tahs in Albury

Thu, 30 Jan 2014 07:03
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Chieka has named a strong starting line-up

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Kurtley Beale, back in the Waratahs light blue for the first time since 2011, will pull on the No. 10 jersey when he lines up against his old team mates the Melbourne Rebels in a warm-up game in Albury on Saturday. 
 
Also starting are fellow newcomers Jono Lance, who joins the Waratahs from the Reds, and Australian U20s and sevens player Tala Gray. 
 
Although technically a Rebels’ home game, the match takes place on New South Wales territory, just north of the Victorian border.   
 
Waratahs head coach Michael Chieka has named a strong starting line-up for the Waratahs first pre-season game and he hopes that his side will entice the local country rugby community to get behind their state team. 
 
"A lot of the lads come from the country areas, like those rural communities we’ve stopped at along the way," said Cheika, of the four-day Waratahs Community Roadshow the team is undertaking on its way to Albury.   
 
"Some of those places have probably felt some connection to the Brumbies in the past but if it’s in NSW, we would love the people to want to support their state’s team.  
"It doesn’t matter what team or code you follow, if you’re from NSW, you can support the Waratahs," the coach said.
 
With the Rebels having recorded their first win over the Waratahs in six meetings when the teams last met, the game is set to provide a great contest for both teams as they gear up preparations for the new Super Rugby season. 
 
Adding to the rivalry, will be the presence of Waratahs assistant coach Nathan Grey, who spent the past three seasons as part of the Melbourne coaching team. 
 
"It will be great, a good challenge and fun to see all the Rebels players but also be a bit weird to see them on the other side of the fence. I am really looking forward to the game and it will be great for the Waratahs to finally have their first hit out after a long pre-season," Grey said. 
 
Also named in the starting line-up are a number of invited players, including Stephen Hoiles, who will make a much-anticipated return to rugby at the back of the scrum, where he will line up alongside captain Pat McCutcheon and Gray. 
 
Waratahs: 15 Ben Volavola, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Tala Gray, 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Jeremy Tilse.
Replacements: TBC
 
Date: Saturday, February 1
Venue: Albury Sports Ground, Albury
Kick-off: 17.00 (06.00 GMT)
Referee:  Angus Gardner
Assistant referees: Richard Goswell, Beau-Dean Gosper
 
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