Waratahs

Tuqiri Vice Captain for Record Super Rugby Appearance

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New HSBC Waratahs vice captain Lote Tuqiri will become NSW’s most capped Super Rugby winger in Saturday’s clash with the Highlanders at Aussie Stadium.


Tuqiri will surpass Scott Staniforth’s record of 54 matches on the wing for the Waratahs, while also serving as backup to new skipper Rocky Elsom.


‘Lote’s a respected figure within the team and his leadership will be important on Saturday,’ HSBC Waratahs head coach Ewen McKenzie said.


‘As each year has gone by he’s grown both as a player and as a person, and its fitting that he assumes the vice captaincy in a match where he’ll set a new record.’


The Elsom-Tuqiri leadership pairing came about following injury to Morgan Turinui and the decision to start Adam Freier from the bench to allow back up hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau a second starting opportunity for the season.


‘It’s encouraging to be able to make these selections despite the injuries we’ve had this year,’ McKenzie said.


‘Rocky’s been a stand out all year and while he hasn’t had a ‘c’ next to his name he’s certainly been one to lead the team around the park.


‘Adam will also play an important role later in the match when clear heads and leadership are most important.’


Sam Harris replaces Turinui at inside centre while prop Matt Dunning will make his first starting appearance for the year, replacing Benn Robinson.


Dean Mumm returns to the starting side for Ben Hand, who remains in doubt after suffering a back injury in training.


Tim Davidson will come onto the bench if Hand is ruled out.


Scrumhalf Nathan Sievert is set to become the tenth player of 2007 to make his Super 14 debut for the Waratahs, replacing injured number 9 Josh Valentine.


The 20-year old Academy player won two Waratah caps on the 2006 Gulf Air Development Tour to the UK and Ireland, lining up against the Northampton Wanderers and Leinster A.


Sievert will line up on the bench with Josh Holmes to make his first starting appearance.


‘Nathan’s been in our system for a couple of years but injury has held him back until now,’ McKenzie said.


‘He’s mature for his age and was player’s player on the UK tour, so I’m confident he’ll be able to do the job required of him.


‘Josh Holmes has also been impressive over the last two weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes in the starting role.’


HSBC WARATAHS TO PLAY THE HIGHLANDERS AT AUSSIE STADIUM


SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2007, 7.40PM AEST



1. Matt Dunning


2. Tatafu Polota-Nau


3. Al Baxter


4. Dean Mumm


5. Will Caldwell


6. Rocky Elsom [c]


7. Beau Robinson


8. David Lyons


9. Josh Holmes *First Super Rugby Starting Appearance


10. Sam Norton-Knight


11. Lote Tuqiri [v-c] *Becomes Most Capped Waratah Super Rugby Winger – 55th Cap


12. Sam Harris


13. Ben Jacobs


14. Lachie Turner


15. Peter Hewat


16. Adam Freier


17. Benn Robinson


18. Ben Hand/Tim Davidson


19. Wycliff Palu


20. Nathan Sievert *Super 14 Debut


21. Kurtley Beale


22. Daniel Halanaghu

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