The HSBC Waratahs have named a 23-man touring squad for their final regular season Super 14 encounter against the Queensland Reds on Saturday night.
NSWRU media Unit reports that head Coach Ewen McKenzie has delayed the decision on naming the starting XV due to the side’s return from South Africa on Monday afternoon.
“We’ve only had one session since coming back from Africa so we’re not yet in a position to confirm the team for Saturday,” said McKenzie.
“We know the guys who are in the mix and we have selected 23 players to go to Brisbane, but as for the final make-up of the team, we’re not going to know that until closer to game time.”
McKenzie said that with a number of players still overcoming the demanding African leg of their campaign, Thursday’s and Friday’s training would be factors in the final selection.
“There’s a lot riding on this match so it’s important we don’t rush anything,” said McKenzie.
The week 14 clash will mark Dan Vickerman’s 50th appearance for the Waratahs, while David Lyons will play his 100th Super Rugby match this weekend after bringing up a century of NSW appearances last month.
Lote Tuqiri will also achieve a milestone by overtaking Scott Staniforth as the Waratahs’ most capped winger of all time with 69 appearances.
The winner of the final round Super 14 clash will lift The Templeton Cup, which has been in NSW hands for the last three years.
Waratahs players will join Ewen McKenzie at tomorrow’s Vintage Reds lunch, helping to promote the 288th meeting between the two sides since their first clash in 1882.
The team will also be joining the Reds in wearing yellow armbands to help raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Council’s Call to Arms campaign. Call to Arms is the newest event for The Cancer Council (Queensland), and is aimed at raising funds for men’s cancers.
2008 SUPER 14 – WEEK 14
QUEENSLAND REDS V HSBC WARATAHS
Saturday, 17 May 2008 (Kick-off 7:30pm AEST)
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Matt Goddard (AUS)
Touch Judges: James Leckie (AUS) & Damien Mitchelmore (AUS)
WARATAHS 23-MAN SQUAD
Backs (11): Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Matt Carraro, Tom Carter, Sam Harris, Rob Horne, Sam Norton-Knight, Brett Sheehan, Timana Tahu, Lote Tuqiri, Lachie Turner.
Forwards (12): Al Baxter, Will Caldwell, Matt Dunning, Rocky Elsom, Adam Freier, David Lyons, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Dan Vickerman, Phil Waugh [c].