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Waratahs name 27 man squad for South Africa

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has stuck to his winning formula

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Article Published: Friday 21 March 2014|

Wartahs head coach Michael Cheika has named his 27-man squad for their tour of South Africa and retained the squad that beat the Rebels plus Pat McCutcheon , Easts' duo Jonno Lance and Tala Gray, and Norths speedster Cam Crawford to take on the Sharks and Stormers.

Utility back Lance and loose forward Pat McCutcheon have both been close to making an appearance in 2014. They've been named in the 25-man squad for the last two weeks, only to be omitted from the squad in the lead up to kick off.

Gray was set to make a play in the season opener before a rib injury curtailed his chances, while outside back Cam Crawford has now fully recovered from shoulder surgery.

Crawford, a 100kg winger who crossed for eight tries in seven games to notch the highest tries to games ratio in the 2013 Super Rugby season, is eager to pick up where he left off last season.

Big and powerful, backrower Gray was signed by Cheika from French Top 14 side Biarritz to provide depth in the backrow and will get his chance in the republic.

Preparing for the battle of the breakdown against their South African rivals, the coach has included seven backrowers in the 15-strong forward contingent, with skipper Dave Dennis and Jacques Potgieter also set to cover the lock position.

In the backs, Lance will provide cover for Bernard Foley at flyhalf and Israel Folau at fullback, while Crawford will cover for the outside backs.

The Tahs fly to South Africa tomorrow, where they'll take on the Sharks in Durban before travelling to Cape Town to face the Stormers.

They then return to Australia via Perth, where they meet the Western Force at NIB Stadium on Saturday April 12 before finally returning home to host the Bulls in a big round 10 Easter Saturday clash at Allianz Stadium.

Waratahs squad for South Africa
1. Sekope Kepu
2. Tatafu Polota Nau
3. Paddy Ryan
4. Will Skelton
5. Kane Douglas
6. Jacques Potgieter
7. Michael Hooper
8. Dave Dennis (c)
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Peter Betham
12. Kurtley Beale
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper
14. Alofa Alofa
15. Israel Folau
16. Tolu Latu
17. Jeremy Tilse
18. Benn Robinson
19. Wycliff Palu
20. Stephen Hoiles
21. Brendan McKibbin
22. Rob Horne
23. Matt Carraro
24. Pat McCutcheon
25. Tala Gray
26. Jonno Lance
27. Cam Crawford

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