Waratahs coach Chris Hickey has named his team for what is, quite bizarrely, their opening home game of the 2010 season. Having lost twice in South Africa, the Sydneysiders will look to arrest the slide when they face he struggling Sharks on Saturday morning.
If the Sharks were banking on the highly-rated Tahs front row being weakened, that hope has now been dashed with the news that powerful hooker Tatafu Polotu-Nau has been cleared to start. Together with props Al Baxter and Benn Robinson, Polotu-Nau gave the Sharks all-Bok front row a real working over in Durban last year and John Plumtree will need to have a good think about how he plans to counter them.
Dean Mumm, back from a two-week suspension, starts in the second row, with Dave Dennis moving to the flank. Ben Mowen loses his place this week and will have to be content with a run off the bench. Phil Waugh and Cliffie Palu form the balance of an impressive loose trio.
It’s in the backs that the Waratahs really look to have the measure of their opponents, though, having named an unchanged combination featuring the likes of Drew Mitchell, Berrick Barnes and the dangerous Lachie Turner.
WARATAHS: 15 Sosene Anesi; 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Tom Carter, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell; 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess; 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (capt), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Reserves: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Will Caldwell, 19 Ben Mowen, 20 Josh Holmes, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 Rob Horne.Tweet