Spotlight on Folau in Waratahs v Blues clash

Thu, 03 May 2018 06:33
Large israel folau waratahs 800

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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 01 June 2018
Highlanders v Hurricanes 07h35 Dunedin
Sat, 02 June 2018
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Eden Park
Chiefs v Crusaders 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Wales v South Africa 21h00 RFK Stadium
Sun, 03 June 2018
Brumbies v Sunwolves 06h05 Canberra
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 12 6 1 5 31
Rebels 12 6 0 6 30
Brumbies 12 4 0 8 20
Reds 11 4 0 7 18
Sunwolves 12 2 0 10 10
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 11 0 2 50
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 45
Chiefs 12 8 0 4 37
Highlanders 11 7 0 4 32
Blues 12 3 0 9 17
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 7 0 6 40
Jaguares 13 8 0 5 34
Sharks 13 5 1 7 28
Stormers 14 5 0 9 25
Bulls 13 5 0 8 24