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Gordon starts for Waratahs against Highlanders

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Waratahs Super rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has included lock Tom Staniforth and halfback Jake Gordon in his team to play the Highlanders at Allianz Stadium.

Staniforth replaces Ned Hanigan, who has been ruled out with a knee injury and Gordon starts ahead of Nick Phipps, who is on the bench.

Hanigan’s injury also gives an opportunity to 20-year-old Eastern Suburbs lock Ryan McCauley, who has been named in the reserves along with hooker Tolu Latu.

“We talked really clearly with the two boys (Phipps and Gordon) at the start of this four-game block against the New Zealand teams that this is what we are going to do. We are going to continue that, so that means Nick (Phipps) will come back next week,” Gibson said.

“Tolu has had four 80-minute games with Sydney University. Part of his re-introduction is around him doing the necessary work; he’s doing his throwing and he’s playing consistently. We’ve been pretty consistent in Hugh Roach and Damien Fitzpatrick so we see this as an opportunity for him (Latu) to again contribute and see what he can do,” Gibson said.

The team will wear their club or school socks on Saturday night to celebrate Club Rugby Round.

Waratahs

15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Bryce Hegarty

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