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Waratahs start Gordon for Phipps against Chiefs

Jake Gordon of the Waratahs

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Jake Gordon of the Waratahs takes on the defence during the round nine Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Kings at Allianz Stadium on April 21, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Waratahs Super Rugby head coach Daryl Gibson has been forced into making one change for this weekend’s match against the Chiefs this Saturday in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Halfback Nick Phipps has been ruled out with an ankle injury while Jack Dempsey, who was named this week in the Wallaby squad, has moved on to the reserves bench in a 6/2 split of forwards and backs.

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Jake Gordon will now start at halfback with Matt Lucas joining the team in Auckland on Thursday and centre Irae Simone moves out of the match day squad.

Phipps has not yet fully recovered from an ankle injury that forced him from the field in the match against the Highlanders last Saturday.

Dempsey successfully played 35 minutes of Shute Shield rugby for his club Gordon last Saturday before joining the NSW Waratahs in New Zealand the following day.

Coach Daryl Gibson said that the team will adjust to the changes and was more focused on the immediate task ahead on defeating the Chiefs this Saturday.

“The focus for the team remains to compete for the full 80 minutes and we’ve been working to eliminate those times during a game when we have lost our concentration,” said Gibson.

“We know that to win this weekend and in all our games, we have to play for the whole game, for the full 80.

“We know the Chiefs will be tough, they’ll challenge us at the breakdown and in every collision so our contact skills have to be right and we have to take a physical edge into this game.”

NSW Waratahs

Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Rob Horne, David Horwitz, Cam Clark, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (capt), Ned Hanigan, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson.

Replacements : Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, Angus Taavao, David McDuling, Jed Holloway, Jack Dempsey , Matt Lucas, Bryce Hegarty.

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