Folau to wing it for Waratahs
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has named a changed starting XV for Sunday's clash against the Melbourne Rebels at the Allianz Stadium.
Tighthead prop Sekope Kepu replaces Paddy Ryan, lock Rob Simmons comes in for Tom Staniforth and Mitch Short will start at scrumhalf.
In the backline, Israel Folau moves from fullback to right wing in place of Alex Newsome and Bryce Hegarty will start at fullback.
On the bench, Hugh Roach replaces Tolu Latu, Paddy Ryan comes in for Kalivate Tawake, Tom Staniforth replaces Nick Palmer.
Short's inclusion in the starting line-up has created an opportunity for Eastwood halfback Mick Snowden to be named on the bench.
Jake Gordon has been ruled out because he has not recovered sufficiently from a head knock he suffered in last week's game against the Jaguares.
"The changes reflect Sekope's return from suspension, Rob's return from injury, rewarding Bryce's consistent performances the last couple of weeks and tactically allowing us to utilise Israel’s aerial ability," said Gibson.
"The focus for us earlier in the week was about recovery and now it’s about finding our intensity. We are excited to be back home and playing in front of our supporters again."
Waratahs: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Mitch Short, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Michael Wells, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mick Snowden, 22 Alex Newsome, 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Date: Sunday, March 18
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 16.05 (05.05 GMT)
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Graham Cooper (Australia)
TMO: Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)