McKenzie shuffles Tahs for Force




Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie has shuffled his backline ahead of the Sydney side’s encounter with the Force at home on Friday.

Morgan Turinui has returned, finding a place on the wing in a move that sees Peter Hewat shift to fullback, with Sam Norton-Knight dropping to the bench.

Daniel Halangahu comes in at inside centre for Sam Harris, in a backline that is set to match the attacking virtuosity of the Force. Josh Valentine also makes a return to the side, slotting for Brett Sheehan at scrum-half.

Meanwhile, upfront, Waratahs rookie flanker Beau Robinson will make his Super 14 starting debut when he fills in for injured skipper Phil Waugh at openside flanker.

“We opted for a specialist openside rather than move a more experienced player out of his preferred position,” said McKenzie.

“Beau’s got a lot of raw ability but there’s nothing like game time to get a player up to speed and I have every confidence in him.”

Robinson’s inexperience is contrasted by the return of Wallaby number eight David Lyons on the bench.

Lyons made a successful comeback for the Waratahs Academy side last weekend after missing the opening three matches due to a knee injury.

“We’ve made a few changes to suit the opposition but as always we rely on 22 players to get us through the full 80 minutes,’ added McKenzie.

Waratahs: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Morgan Turinui, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Will Caldwell,4 Dean Mumm, 3 Alastair Baxter, 2 Adam Freier (c), 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Aaron Broughton-Rouse, 18 Ben Hand, 19 David Lyons, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Sam Harris

Venue: Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Date: 2 March 2007
Kick-off: 19.40 (8.40 GMT)
Referee: Paul Marks (Australia)
Touch judges: George Ayoub (Australia), James Scholtens (Australia)
Television match official: Geoff Acton (Australia)

365 Digital

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