Gibson shifts No.9s again
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Nick Phipps has returned to the Waratahs' starting line-up for their clash against the Reds in Sydney on Saturday.
Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has opted to include Matt Lucas as the reserve scrumhalf, shifting Nick Phipps to starting No.9 with Jake Gordon earning himself a rest.
“Speaking with our three scrumhalves, I have decided to rotate them over the next two games. Nick Phipps will start this weekend with Matt Lucas on the bench", said Gibson.
"Jake Gordon will be back in the next game and his omission from the line-up is by no means a reflection on his form. We have three strong halves and the rotation this weekend will be our strongest combination to face the Reds opposition.”
Hooper is backing Phipps to make a good impression this Saturday.
"He [Phipps] was fantastic against the Reds last year," said Hooper. "He loves starting and loves playing against the Reds every time he gets that opportunity."
"Our backline remains unchanged – I want to give them the opportunity to address certain areas and deliver a performance we know they have the ability to," said Gibson.
With Tolu Latu ruled out with injury, Hugh Roach will start as hooker with Sekope Kepu back at tighthead prop after serving his one-game suspension.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 David McDuling, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Hugh Roach, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Angus Taavao, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Irae Simone, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
Date: Saturday, April 29
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 19.45 (09.45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), Damon Murphy (Australia)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)