Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has made five changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s crucial Super Rugby clash with the Hurricanes in Sydney.
The round 16 match will be one of the biggest games all year for the Waratahs as they sit equal top of the Australian conference on the cusp of the Super Rugby final series.
Powerful number eight Wycliff Palu makes a welcome return to the starting side injecting some added experience and leadership to the back row together with Dean Mumm and team captain Michael Hooper.
Club captain, Dave Dennis will pair up with Will Skelton in the second row, while in the backs, Matt Carraro returns to the starting XV, joining Taqele Naiyaravoro on the wing.
Jack Dempsey, Matt Lucas and Reece Robinson will provide welcome support off the bench for the Tahs this weekend following their impressive performances against the Sunwolves in the last round.
Dean Mumm is set to run our for his 100th Super Rugby game this weekend, while Matt Carraro will celebrate his 50th Super Rugby and Waratahs match.
The Waratahs and Hurricanes have faced each other on 20 occasions, winning 10 games each, with the Tahs securing six out of the last eight meetings.
Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David Dennis, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Reece Robinson
Date: Saturday, July 9
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:40 local (09:40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Referees: Andrew Lees, James Leckie
TMO: Ian Smith