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By NSW Waratahs Media unit
The NSW Waratahs have made two selection and one positional change to the starting team for the match against the Jaguares this Saturday at Allianz Stadium, in Sydney.
Jack Dempsey who received his first Test cap against the Italians last month in Brisbane takes the No 6 jersey while Bryce Hegarty starts on the right wing ahead of Taqele Naiyaravoro who moves to the bench.
Head Coach Daryl Gibson says that with Will Skelton unavailable for selection after breaking his arm in a club rugby match last weekend, recently capped Wallaby Ned Hanigan will move from blindside flanker into lock.
“The selections are all about getting our best players on the field and so we’ll Ned starting at lock for the first time this year,” said Gibson.
“Bryce Hegarty moves into the starting side and he’s had real impact for us every time he plays. He was best-on-ground against Suntory in our last match and he’s earned the opportunity to start.
“While he’s in a position he’s not familiar with, it still offers Bryce the chance to be in the back field where he’s excelled this season.
“It’s probably the most mobile team we’ve picked this year, obviously losing Will Skelton was disappointing but we’ve got that mobility now in the back five which I think will be a real feature for us and the backline has real pace.”
Gibson has made two changes to the reserves bench with Andrew Kellaway returning from injury and Ryan McCauley, the Australian Under 20 lock, on the bench and will make his Waratah debut if called on to play.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for Ryan coming off the back of the junior World Cup and I’m really pleased for him,” Gibson said.
“The team really rallied around him when his name was read out and I think it’s a name we’re going to become more familiar with over the coming years.”
McCauley was born and raised in NSW and came to the Waratahs through the NSW U20’s and the Australian U20’s. Having just turned 20, Ryan is the youngest member of the squad.
The NSW Waratahs play the Jaguares on Saturday July 8 at 7:40pm (AEST).
To secure your seat, head to www.waratahs.com.au/tickets
The NSW Waratahs have announced a late change to their team for the match against the Jaguares this Saturday night, at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Tolu Latu who had been selected as the starting hooker for the team, missed training on Thursday and as a result, he is out of the match day 23.
Damian Fitzpatrick now moves from the bench and will start the match, while Hugh Roach comes in to the squad as the reserve hooker.
NSW Waratahs Team
Michael Hooper ©
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The NSW Waratah’s will open their 2018 Super Rugby season with a home match against the Stormers at Allianz Stadium on the 24th of February.
SANZAAR has released the Super Rugby draw for 2018 with the Waratahs scheduled to play eight games at home.