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Phipps returns for Waratahs to face Brumbies

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Waratahs Super rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has named a relatively unchanged team to play the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday.

The Brumbies beat the Reds last weekend and now face another Australian derby clash after a short turnaround.

Curtis Rona has been rotated which allows Alex Newsome to start on the wing.

Returning to the 23-man squad is NSW Waratahs Club Captain Nick Phipps (pictured), who has been sidelined for the start of the 2019 Super Rugby with a hamstring injury.

Gibson said: “It’s good to welcome back Nick, his has such a good energy around the squad. Nick is a bad patient, he’s been wanting this opportunity to get back into the team. He’s worked hard to get himself fit and available.

“We know he’s coming off not a lot of rugby so we’re going to introduce him gradually to build up in the season.”

Winger Alex Newsome is back in the starting XV, with Cam Clark on the bench and Curtis Rona rotated this week.

“Alex took his opportunity well the other day (against the Reds) and I’ve got every trust in our wingers to do a good job.

“We have a number of wingers who just work hard, I look at Cam and Alex and they are guys who consistently do a lot of work,” Gibson said.

The Tahs will be out for redemption after the Brumbies stole a win at the end of 2018 Super Rugby season. But the Brumbies on their home turf and on the back of a loss against the Rebels, will be just as hungry for the win.

“Whenever we play the Brumbies in Canberra it’s always going to be very difficult in terms of the fight that is going to be in the game and we’re expecting a close encounter,” said Gibson.

Waratahs

1. Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Jed Holloway, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Ned Hanigan, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Jack Dempsey, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Alex Newsome, 12. Karmichael Hunt, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14. Israel Folau, 15. Kurtley Beale

Replacements 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Rory O’Connor, 18. Chris Talakai, 19. Ryan McCauley, 20. Lachlan Swinton, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Mack Mason, 23. Cam Clark

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