Brumbies bring out the big boys for Tahs
PRE-SEASON BUILD-UP: The Brumbies have named a strong starting XV to tackle the Waratahs in their latest trial match in Mudgee this weekend.
Wallaby stars Henry Speight, Rory Arnold, Scott Fardy and Tevita Kuridrani will play from the start in a team that contains eight internationals with Sam Carter, named co-captain at the Season Launch on Wednesday alongside Christian Lealiifano, leading the team into the paddock.
The Brumbies will take sixteen replacements to the fixture at the Glen Willow Regional Stadium including wing Nigel Ah Wong, fresh from Suntory's undefeated season in the Japanese Top League which culminated last week.
There is likely to be a first glimpse in Brumbies colours of Tom Banks, who sat out last weekend's win over the Australian Barbarians at Viking Park.
With the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens taking place next weekend, this match will be the last chance that head coach Stephen Larkham has to run the rule over his squad in the traditional XVs format of the game before the opening Super Rugby match against the Crusaders, in Christchurch, on Saturday. February 25.
Meanwhile, with only three weeks to the start of the Super Rugby season, Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson is excited about the emergence of the next generation of Waratahs and what the season will have in store for the side.
"This is going to be an important trial for many players competing for starting positions come the start of the season.
"Given the limited preparation we’ve had leading into the season, our pre-season games in Mudgee, Brisbane Global Tens and at Brookvale, are hugely important," he said.
After a stand out 2016 season, Gibson announced Jack Dempsey as the captain for the game against Brumbies this weekend.
Waratahs squad: Tom Robertson, Hugh Roach, David Lolohea, Ned Hanigan, Senio Toleafoa, Jack Dempsey, Brad Wilkin, Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Mack Mason, Harry Jones, David Horwitz, Irae Simone, Reece Robinson, Bryce Hegarty, Tolu Latu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Sam Needs, David McDuling, Matt Lucas, Andrew Deegan, Andrew Kellaway, Ryan McCauley, Jamason Schultz, Con Foley, Maclean Jones.
Brumbies: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Lolo Fakaosilea, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Leslie Leulua'iali'i, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: Robbie Abel, Faalelei Sione, Ben Alexander, Blake Enever, Jordan Smiler, Joe Powell, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Tom Banks, Saia Fainga'a, Tom Staniforth, Tom Cusack, Ben Hyne, Isaac Thompson, Nigel Ah Wong, Andrew Smith, Andrew Muirhead.
Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium, Mudgee
Kick-off: 18.00 (07.00 GMT)
Referee: William Houston (Australia)