Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has named the same team that beat the Rebels for their showdown with the Chiefs in New Plymouth.
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has named the same team that defeated the Melbourne Rebels for their game against the Chiefs in New Plymouth.
On the back of their impressive 41-19 win at their Australian rivals, Cheika has clearly felt little need to change his matchday 23 for Saturday's match.
“I think against the Chiefs, it is the right formula,” the boss said ahead of facing the champions.
“The team has a good balance: there's good mobility, good physicality, a bit of hard, straight running, a bit of footwork, a bit of everything and it is important to have a balance to beat the Chiefs.”
The Waratahs have won three of their last four against the Chiefs but have lost the last eight straight in New Zealand. The last time NSW tasted victory across the ditch was in 2010. And the Chiefs' humiliating 45-8 loss to the Hurricanes last weekend won't make it any easier for the 'Tahs.
“The issue isn't about how the opposition comes out, it's how we come out. In the past we've worried too much about how the opposition is going to play and we've reacted to that. If we want to be known as the hardest working team in the competition, this is the game to do it.
“If you're going to play a grand final against a team that works hard, it's going to be against the Chiefs. It's a real test for us around our attitude, getting down and doing the job and going up against the odds. Not many people will think we can get it done over there so we've got to make sure that we think we can do it and try and get the job done the best we can.”
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacement: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro.
Date: Saturday, May 31
Kick-off: 16:35 local (05:35 BST, 04:35 GMT)
Venue: Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Richard Kelly (New Zealand), Grant Stuart (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)