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Waratahs start Phipps against Reds

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Waratahs Super Rugby Head Coach Daryl Gibson has named his team to play in the Australian derby clash against the Reds in Brisbane.

Gibson said the New South Wales-Queensland rivalry is one that means a lot to the side and the team will be wanting to represent the State proudly when they pull on the sky blue jersey on Saturday.

“For us this weekend it’s all about pride in our jersey -this is our biggest local derby and we want to represent our State proudly.

“A big focus for us this weekend is improving our line outs, so we have David McDuling and Dean Mumm starting as locks to ensure we have superior line outs.

NSW Captain Michael Hooper knows what to expect of the encounter on Saturday night.

“We are in anticipation for a tough game and a physical, hard battle”, said Hooper.

“(We’re also) anticipating a really good battle in (the backrow). We’ve got some really young, hungry guys here in Wellsy (Michael Wells) and Ned (Hanigan) that take it up to an older backrow.”

Gibson has opted to include Matt Lucas as the reserve halfback, shifting Nick Phipps to starting half with Jake Gordon earning himself a rest.

“Speaking with our three halves, I have decided to rotate them over the next two games. Nick Phipps will start this weekend with Matt Lucas on the bench”, said Gibson.

“Jake Gordon will be back in the next game and his omission from the line up is by no means a reflection on his form. We have three strong halves and the rotation this weekend will be our strongest combination to face the Reds opposition.”

Hooper is backing Phipps to make a good impression this Saturday night.

“He (Phipps) was fantastic against the Reds last year”, said Hooper.

“He loves starting and loves playing against the Reds every time he gets that opportunity.”

“Our back line remains unchanged – I want to give them the opportunity to address certain areas and deliver a performance we know they have the ability to,” said Gibson.

With Tolu Latu ruled out with injury, Hugh Roach will start as hooker with Sekope Kepu back at tighthead prop after serving his one game suspension.

Waratahs

1.Tom Robertson,2.Hugh Roach,3.Sekope Kepu,4.David McDuling,5.Dean Mumm,6.Ned Hanigan,7.Michael Hooper ©,8.Michael Wells,9.Nick Phipps,10.Bernard Foley,11.Cam Clark,12.David Horwitz,13.Rob Horne,14 Taqele Naiyaravoro,15Israel Folau

Replacements :16.Damien Fitzpatrick,17.Paddy Ryan,18.Angus Taavao,19.Will Skelton,20.Jed Holloway,21.Matt Lucas,22.Irae Simone,23.Bryce Hegarty

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