Rogers to start at flyhalf against the Cats



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Utility back Mat Rogers and prop Al Baxter will both kickoff new chapters in their Waratah careers this Friday night against the Cats at Aussie Stadium.

Rogers will make his first starting Super 14 appearance at flyhalf, while Baxter will play his 50th Super Rugby match for NSW against the Johannesburg based outfit.

Rogers, who returned to action off the bench in last week’s 31-16 win over the Sharks, takes the place of Daniel Halangahu.

‘Mat showed with his first touch of the ball on Saturday that he’s ready for this challenge,’ HSBC Waratahs head coach Ewen McKenzie said.

‘He’s the kind of player who continually puts the defence in two minds, which will be an asset against the Cats, and anyone else for that matter.

‘He’s trained hard this week and has performed well in the role for the Wallabies in the past so we’re confident in his ability to call the shots on Friday.’

The only other change to the squad that downed the Sharks last week sees the return from suspension of prop Matt Dunning, who will start this match off the bench.

Benn Robinson will again start at loose-head while Troy Takiari drops out of the 22.

‘It’s a bonus to have Matt available however the form of Benn Robinson in his absence could not be ignored,’ McKenzie added.

‘That said, Matt will still play a significant role in this match.’

Baxter’s 50th Super Rugby cap coincides with a number of impending milestones, with Chris Whitaker in line to pass Nick Farr-Jones and become the most successful Waratah captain of all time.

Peter Hewat is also expected to become the third highest pointscorer in NSW history during Friday’s match.

‘We haven’t won the match yet so I don’t want to count my chickens,’ Whitaker said of a possible 20th victory in charge of the Waratahs.

‘However it’s not every day you get the opportunity to pass the record of a guy like Nick Farr-Jones ‘ it’d be a great honour.’

Hewat is currently on 299 state points, just five short of surpassing Manny Edmonds (303) to become the third highest pointscorer in NSW history.

HSBC Waratahs to Play the Cats at Aussie Stadium
Friday 10 March 2006, 7.40pm

1. Benn Robinson
2. Adam Freier
3. Al Baxter
4. Alex Kanaar
5. Daniel Vickerman
6. Wycliff Palu
7. Phil Waugh [v-c]
8. David Lyons
9. Chris Whitaker [c]
10. Mat Rogers
11. Lote Tuqiri
12. Shaun Berne
13. Morgan Turinui
14. Peter Hewat
15. Sam Norton-Knight
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. Matt Dunning
18. Will Caldwell
19. Stephen Hoiles
20. Brett Sheehan
21. Daniel Halangahu
22. Ben Jacobs

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