The Waratahs have been hit with a cruel injury plague, with Berrick Barnes ruled out of the side’s opening game against the Reds on Saturday, with Daniel Halangahu named at pivot, and has been given the captaincy as well.
Sarel Pretorius will play inside the exciting pivot, making for an attacking pair of halfbacks. The team has been boosted by Adam Ashley-Cooper returning to fitness in time to be selected at fullback. The centre combination of Rob Horne and Tom Carter is an exciting one.
In the forwards, Benn Robinson has been named vice-captain and will pack with Polota-Nau and Kepu in the front row, and with Dean Mumm behind them, the tight five looks very strong indeed.
Waratahs: 15. Adam Ashley-Cooper ,14. Tom Kingston ,13. Rob Horne ,12. Tom Carter ,11. Brackin Karauria-Henry ,10. Daniel Halangahu (C)9. Sarel Pretorius ,8. Wycliff Palu ,7. Chris Alcock ,6. Dave Dennis ,5. Dean Mumm ,4. Kane Douglas ,3. Sekope Kepu , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau ,1. Benn Robinson (VC)
Replacements:16. Damien Fitzpatrick ,17. Paddy Ryan ,18. Lopeti Timani ,19. Jono Jenkins ,20. Brendan McKibbin ,21. Bernard Foley ,22. Nathan TristTweet