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Waratahs make three changes for Jaguares

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Ned Hanigan of the Waratahs runs the ball during the round 10 Super Rugby match between the Reds and the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on April 29, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Waratahs Super Rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has named a team with three changes for this Saturday’s match against the Jaguares at Allianz Stadium, in Sydney.

Gibson has made two selection and one positional change to the starting team for this weekend’s first taste of Argentinean Super Rugby.

Jack Dempsey who received his first Test cap against the Italians last month in Brisbane takes the No 6 jersey while Bryce Hegarty starts on the right wing ahead of Taqele Naiyaravoro who moves to the bench.

Head Coach Daryl Gibson says that with Will Skelton unavailable for selection after breaking his arm in a club rugby match last weekend, recently capped Wallaby Ned Hanigan will move from blindside flanker into lock.

“The selections are all about getting our best players on the field and so we’ll have Ned starting at lock for the first time this year,” said Gibson.

“Bryce Hegarty moves into the starting side and he’s had real impact for us every time he plays. He was best-on-ground against Suntory in our last match and he’s earned the opportunity to start.

“While he’s in a position he’s not familiar with, it still offers Bryce the chance to be in the back field where he’s excelled this season.

“It’s probably the most mobile team we’ve picked this year, obviously losing Will Skelton was disappointing but we’ve got that mobility now in the back five which I think will be a real feature for us and the backline has real pace.”

Gibson has made two changes to the reserves bench with Andrew Kellaway returning from injury and Ryan McCauley, the Australian Under 20 lock, on the bench and will make his Waratah debut if called on to play.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for Ryan coming off the back of the junior World Cup and I’m really pleased for him,” Gibson said.

“The team really rallied around him when his name was read out and I think it’s a name we’re going to become more familiar with over the coming years.”

McCauley was born and raised in NSW and came to the Waratahs through the NSW U20’s and the Australian U20’s. Having just turned 20, Ryan is the youngest member of the squad.

Waratahs

Tom Robertson, Tolu Latu, Sekope Kepu, Ned Hanigan, Dean Mumm, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley, Cam Clark, David Horwitz, Rob Horne, Bryce Hegarty, Israel Folau.

Replacements: Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Angus Ta’avao, David McDuling, Ryan McCauley, Matt Lucas, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Andrew Kellaway.