Waratahs unchanged for Highlanders clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has named the same team to take the field against the Highlanders this Saturday, in the first game of their two-match tour of New Zealand.
Gibson has rewarded the side that defeated the Melbourne Rebels by 50 points to 23 last Sunday in Sydney and says the squad of 23 has earned the right to take the field again for their match in Dunedin.
"The players all stood up to the challenge of winning the game against the Rebels, a win that was the result of a lot of hard work leading into that match," Gibson said.
"Their training this week has been just as intense and accurate and so I am confident the same side that won so well last weekend can do the same again this weekend."
Gibson said that while Israel Folau, Bernard Foley and captain Michael Hooper were outstanding last Sunday, all the players, including those who came on from the bench, contributed to the win.
"The whole side needs to be performing, and they did last week, so we’ll go into the match against the Highlanders with the same 23," he said.
"We achieved our objective last week, but that’s just the first step on the road ahead of us, which we know is a tough one.
"We'll continue to keep things simple and we’ve shown that’s when we’re at our best."
The Waratahs will leave Sydney with a squad of 23 with two players, with Jack Dempsey and Andrew Kellaway playing club rugby on Saturday, before joining the squad in Queenstown in the lead up to the match against the Chiefs in Hamilton.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 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 Angus Taavao, 19 David McDuling, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Irae Simone.
Date: Saturday, May 27
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 AEST; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)