Rookie Mason steps into Foley's boots
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has named his side for the Super Rugby clash against inform Crusaders at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Mack Mason set to make his Super Rugby debut when he steps into the number ten jersey with Bernard Foley ruled out.
Mason was one of the standout players part of the Australian Under-20 side in 2016 that went on to claim victory against New Zealand.
"Mack’s a really calm, cool-headed young kid. We brought him down last year in November and has been working really well and he’s really earned an opportunity to start for us," said Gibson.
"He has been one of the top performers for the Australian Under-20, he’s had that experience down at the [Melbourne Storm - NRL], so he’s certainly had a widened and varied pathway to us and I’m really looking forward to him going on Sunday," Gibson added.
Further changes will see Rio Olympian Cam Clark starting at fullback with Israel Folau moving back into the centres, as Rob Horne has been ruled out due to a low-grade hamstring injury.
"Cam has been one of those guys who have been toiling away in the background – I’ve been really impressed with his performances coming off the bench," Gibson stated.
"Certainly with Rob Horne’s injury, it’s a necessity to make that change for us, pushing Israel up.
"It’s a great opportunity for a young guy to really nail down that position and see what he can do at this level.
Looking ahead to Sunday, Gibson stressed the importance of a full 80-minute performance from the home side.
"The games they have played, they’ve been behind in three of those and have come storming to win. So we know if we are going to beat them we have got to play for 80 minutes and be right in there for the whole fight,"
Waratahs: 15 Cam Clark, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Mack Mason, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 David Lolohea, 19 David McDuling, 20 Michael Wells, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
Date: Sunday, April 2
Venue: Allianz Park,
Kick-off: 16.05 (19.05 NZDT; 06.05 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Will Houston (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)