Spotlight on Folau in Waratahs v Blues clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Australia fullback Israel Folau will return from injury for the Waratahs this weekend in his first match since he caused a storm with anti-gay comments.
Folau hasn't played since late March, when he came off the field against the Brumbies with a hamstring injury.
The devout Christian, one of Australia's best known and most marketable players, was criticised when he wrote on social media that God's plan for gay people was to send them to hell.
Folau escaped a Rugby Australia sanction for his post after a meeting with the governing body, which has an inclusion policy to stop discrimination.
Folau is among three changes to the Waratahs team against the poor-performing Blues in Sydney on Saturday.
The 29-year-old's selection in the matchday 23, alongside Cameron Clark, means Bryce Hegarty and Curtis Rona will make their impacts off the bench in round 12.
Gibson has upped the pace of the forward pack, once again pairing recent re-signing Will Miller with captain Michael Hooper at openside and Michael Wells at No.8.
The Waratahs lead the Australian conference with a 5-1-2 record ahead of the Rebels.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cameron Clark, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Will Miller, 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 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Curtis Rona, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
Date: Saturday, May 5
Venue: Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (21.40 NZ time; 09.40 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner, Will Houston
TMO: George Ayoub
Source: AFP and @NSWWaratahs