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Four new caps in Waratahs team to play Stormers

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Waratahs Super Rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has named four new names in his Super Rugby team to play the Stormers in Sydney on Saturday.

Openside flanker Michael Hooper will lead the NSW Waratahs in his 81st Super Rugby game for the franchise in the team’s opening Super Rugby match against the Stormers at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Four players in the starting line-up will make their NSW Waratahs Super Rugby debuts: former NSW and Australia Schoolboys midfielder Lalakai Foketi, former Australian Under 20 captain and lock Tom Staniforth, his second row partner and Wallaby Rob Simmons and 2017 Wallaby Curtis Rona.

NSW Waratahs Coach Daryl Gibson said the team is ready to play.

“The game against the Stormers will be a physical contest and it’s a chance for our guys to show what they have, and what we have been focusing on delivering,” Gibson said.

“The kind of start we had against the Rebels last week was too slow for my liking, and we cannot afford to do that against the Stormers. We will need to up the tempo.”

Waratahs

15 Israel Folau, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.

Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome.

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