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Waratahs name four debutants in team to play Hurricanes

Daryl Gibson, head coach of the Waratahs, looks on prior to the pre-season Super Rugby match

ALEXANDRA, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 01: Daryl Gibson, head coach of the Waratahs, looks on prior to the pre-season Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and the Waratahs on February 01, 2019 in Alexandra, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

Waratahs Super rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has named four new faces in the team to play the Hurricanes at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.

Young stars Rory O’Connor and Lachlan Swinton will start on the bench, looking to get their first Super Rugby cap in front of a local home crowd on the northern beaches.

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They will be joined by Chris Talakai and Karmichael Hunt who will also look to pull on the sky blue jersey for the first time in Super Rugby.

Hunt, an experienced international player, will start in the centres alongside one of NSW Waratahs favourite sons Adam Ashley-Cooper who returns to the sky blu.

NSW Waratahs Head Coach Daryl Gibson said this is a new approach for Super Rugby teams in Australia, so changes to the line up can be expected throughout the season.

“Karmichael’s inclusion allows us the ability to manage the workload of Kurtley (Beale) who was the Waratahs highest minute player in 2018. KB will get an extra week to prepare for the season ahead,” said Gibson.

“This is a new approach for Australian rugby teams, rotating players and managing their world loads leading into a World Cup campaign.

“This is why we ensured we had depth in our squad so we have the flexibility while remaining competitive,” he said.

Gibson also gave praise to the players who are in line to make their Super Rugby debuts.

“It’s pleasing to also have potential Super Rugby debutants in Rory (O’Connor), Chris (Talkai) and Lachy (Swinton) among our 23 who have all earned their spots given their efforts throughout our pre-season,” he said.


15 Israel Folau, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cam Clark

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