Waratahs

Two Changes for HSBC Waratahs Shark Encounter

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The HSBC Waratahs have made two changes for Friday night’s (Saturday morning Sydney time) Super 14 clash with the Sharks in Durban.


Adam Freier will start at hooker with Tatafu Polota-Nau moving to the bench while openside flanker Beau Robinson is set for his Super Rugby debut replacing Tim Davidson in the reserves.


McKenzie said the selections were based on a number of factors.


“Had he not been injured (for the trials) we would have a seen a lot more of Adam already,” said McKenzie.


“He’s one of our best players at the tackle contest and he gives us plenty of forward momentum through his pick and drive which we need for this match.”


Freier, celebrating his 50th Super Rugby cap for NSW this weekend, warned that the Sharks would be a tough assignment.


“The Sharks really gave it to the Bulls last weekend and the competition has already shown a lot of intensity and we expect that to continue on Friday night,” said Freier.


“We’ve worked hard since coming to Durban in the heat and humidity and we have to improve on last week to challenge the Sharks.”


Hard-hitting backrower Beau Robinson will potentially see the Waratahs play two genuine openside flankers at the same time.


“We want to contest across the park for the full 80 minutes and Beau will help us do that at the breakdown in attack and defence,” McKenzie said.


Robinson was overjoyed by his selection in the match-day twenty-two but he’s under no illusions as to why he was selected.


“Ewen said this will be a pretty tough game and the confrontation at the breakdown is something I really like and the South African teams are renowned for their toughness in that area,” Robinson said.


“Defence is a big thing for me and I try to make it a focus for my game.”


Lote Tuqiri will celebrate his 50th NSW and Super Rugby cap this weekend and vice-captain Morgan Turinui will play his 50th Super Rugby match.


HSBC Waratahs to play Sharks at Absa Stadium, Durban
Friday, 9 February 2007, 8pm (Saturday, 10 February, 5am Sydney)


1. Benn Robinson
2. Adam Freier (50th NSW Super Rugby cap)
3. Alastair Baxter
4. Will Caldwell
5. Ben Hand
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Phil Waugh [c]
8. Wycliff Palu
9. Josh Valentine
10. Daniel Halangahu
11. Lote Tuqiri (50th Super Rugby Cap & 50th NSW cap)
12. Ben Jacobs
13. Morgan Turinui [v-c] (50th Super Rugby cap)
14. Peter Hewat
15. Sam Norton-Knight



16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. Aaron Broughton-Rouse
18. Dean Mumm
19. Beau Robinson (Super Rugby debut)
20. Brett Sheehan
21. Kurtley Beale
22. Sam Harris

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