Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has backed rookie wing Cam Crawford to make his Super Rugby starting debut against the Chiefs.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has backed rookie wing Cam Crawford to make his Super Rugby starting debut against the Chiefs in Sydney on Friday.
Standing an imposing 1.93m tall and weighing 98kg, the 24-year-old has had only one previous taste of Super Rugby – coming off the bench for the Brumbies in a clash with the Western Force last season.
After impressing with his club form in recent weeks, Crawford is one of three changes to the starting team that travelled to Wellington two weeks ago.
Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and number eight Wycliff Palu return to the starting line-up having each proved their fitness for their clubs in the Shute Shield last Saturday.
Still to finalise his replacements, Cheika has named an eight-man bench including another newcomer in the form of Sydney University lock Will Skelton.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pat McCutcheon, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Peter Betham (one to be omitted)
Date: Friday, 19 April
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Angus Gardner (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)