The HSBC Waratahs will be looking to keep their winning record going against Australian teams when they take on the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium tomorrow night.
Phil Waugh returns to the starting team after the skipper missed the round five clash with the Cheetahs. Tatafu Polota-Nau was named in an extended squad earlier in the week but was ruled out on Thursday to further recover from a knee injury.
Benn Robinson has been ruled out of the match with a rib injury suffered last week against the Cheetahs which sees Sekope Kepu take his place in the starting line-up for the fourth time this year.
Jeremy Tilse has been added to the bench and is poised for his first Super Rugby appearance since the 2010 Super 14 semi-final in Cape Town.
Ryan Cross moves into the starting XV for the first time in NSW colours this weekend. Lachie Turner, who yesterday signed a new two-year deal with the HSBC Waratahs, moves back to the wing with Atieli Pakalani included on an extended reserves list.
The Brumbies have been forced into changes in their pack after Stephen Moore and Mitchell Chapman were both moved out. Eastern Suburbs hooker Huia Edmonds comes into the starting XV, as does young flanker Colby Faingaa. Michael Hooper, who played club Rugby for Manly in the centres last year, moves onto the bench.
The Canberrans have also made changes to the backline with Marlins-signing Robbie Coleman dropping to the bench for Christian Lealiifano. Warringah’s Pat McCabe has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and is replaced at fullback by Norths’ Adam Ashley-Cooper. 2009 Ken Catchpole Medal winner Andrew Smith moves into the outside centre role.
The Brumbies match-day squad features four former Waratahs – Josh Valentine, Dan Palmer, Ben Hand and Huia Edmonds – while Luke Burgess, Sitaleki Timani and John Ulugia are former Brumbies lining up in sky blue.
Last year these two sides played in front of more than 40,000 in Sydney and a strong crowd is once again expected at Canberra Stadium for what will be the third all-Australian match this year for both sides.
The HSBC Waratahs last, and only, victory in the nation’s capital came in 2005. Since then, the last five matches have all been won by the home team.
Saturday’s match will be preceded by a curtain raiser between the HSBC Junior Waratahs and the Brumby Runners which kicks off at 5:15pm. The main game commences at 7:40pm with live coverage on Fox Sports and streamed online at www.abc.net.au.
2011 Super Rugby – Round 6
BRUMBIES v HSBC WARATAHS
Saturday 26 March 2011
Kick-off: 7:40pm AEDT
Referee: Marius Jonker (RSA)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Dickinson (AUS) & Joey Salmans
Television Match Official: Matt Goddard (AUS)