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Waratah Mason to make Super Rugby debut against Crusaders

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Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has named former Australia U20 back Mack Mason to make his Super Rugby debut against the Crusaders on Sunday.

Bernard Foley has been ruled out for the clash so Mason gets his opportunity to start against the tournament leaders.

“Mack’s a really calm, cool-headed young kid. We brought him down last year in November and has been working really well and he’s really earnt an opportunity to start for us”, said Gibson.

“He has been one of the top performers for the Australian U20’s, he’s had that experience down at the (Melbourne Storm – NRL), so he’s certainly had a widened and varied pathway to us and I’m really looking forward to him going on Sunday.

Mason was one of the stand out players part of the Australian U20s side in 2016 that went on to claim victory against New Zealand.

Further changes will see Rio Olympian Cam Clark starting at fullback with Israel Folau moving back into the centres, as Rob Horne has been ruled out due to a low grade hamstring injury.

“Cam has been one of those guys who have been toiling away in the background – I’ve been really impressed with his performances coming off the bench”, Gibson stated.

“Certainly with Rob Horne’s injury it’s a necessity to make that change for us, pushing Israel up.

“It’s a great opportunity for a young guy to really nail down that position and see what he can do at this level.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Gibson stressed the importance of a full eighty-minute performance from the home side.

“The games they have played, they’ve been behind in three of those and have come storming to win. So we know if we are going to beat them we have got to play for 80 minutes and be right in there for the whole fight.”

Waratahs

1.Tom Robertson,2.Tolu Latu,3.Sekope Kepu,4.Dean Mumm,5.Will Skelton,6.Ned Hanigan,7.Michael Hooper ©,8.Jed Holloway,9.Jake Gordon,10..Mack Mason,11.Andrew Kellaway,12.David Horwitz,13.Israel Folau,14.Reece Robinson,15Cam Clark

Replacements:16. Damien Fitzpatrick, 17. Paddy Ryan , 18. David Lolohea , 19. David McDuling, 20. Michael Wells ,21. Nick Phipps, 22. Irae Simone , 23. Taqele Naiyaravoro

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