Sitaleki Timani returns after a stint in Japan

Jono Jenkins will make his Waratahs Super Rugby starting debut against his former club, the Western Force on Saturday, 17th March.

The Sydney University flanker’s elevation to the run on team is the only change to the starting XV that faced the Highlanders last weekend, losing by a single point in the 80-minute Dunedin thriller. Originally called into the squad as a short term replacement, after two cameo appearances, Jenkins now looks set to become a regular in the sky blue, impressing Head Coach Michael Foley when he came on for the injured Pat McCutcheon, who broke his ankle in Saturday’s match.

“Jono played well last weekend, it was a particularly physical game and I thought he thrived,” said Foley, who has chosen to start Jenkins ahead of the returning Chris Alcock.  “We will assess the game and look to bring in Chris at the right time.

“This weekend will be a great challenge for our back row and both players have a clear understanding of their roles.  Last week’s match was very intense and, as a team, it was a good measure for us, as far as giving us an understanding of what is required.”

The match will also give NSW fans a first glimpse this season of towering Tongan Sitaleki Timani, returning after a season in Japan and whose younger brother Lopeti has impressed with limited game time.  Both brothers are on the bench and, if they make it on to the field, will play together for the first time.

Starting XV:
15. Bernard Foley
14. Tom Kingston
13. Rob Horne
12. Berrick Barnes
11. Adam Ashley-Cooper
10. Daniel Halangahu (captain)
9.    Sarel Pretorius
8.    Tevita Metuisela
7.    Jono Jenkins
6.    Dave Dennis
5.    Kane Douglas
4.    Dean Mumm
3.    Sekope Kepu
2.    Tatafu Polota-Nau
1.    Benn Robinson (vice captain)

16. John Ulugia
17. Paddy Ryan
18. Sitaleki Timani
19. Lopeti Timani
20. Chris Alcock
21. Brendan McKibbin
22. Tom Carter