Four changes have been made to the Waratahs starting team for Friday clash against the Blues in Auckland, in what will be the 1000th New South Wales game since 1882.
Following a powerhouse display from the young flanker last week, Jack Dempsey has been named to start in the number six jersey, with Super rugby centurion Dean Mumm shifting to the second row.
Club captain, Dave Dennis will play one of his last matches for the Waratahs in the number eight jersey, after a concerted display against the Hurricanes last weekend.
Speedster, Reece Robinson, who has already scored five tries in his debut rugby season this year, moves into the starting right wing position, in place of Taqele Naiyaravoro who is serving a one-week suspension.
Wycliff Palu will once again provide a welcome boost in the reserves, while Jim Stewart will have the chance to make his Super Rugby debut off the bench.
The 22-year-old back has been a standout for the Sydney University Club as a product of the New South Wales rugby pathways.
Should he make it onto the park he will be the eighth Waratah this season to make their New South Wales debut. Out of the eight, six have crossed for their debut tries this season in what is a positive sign of things to come amongst the club’s next generation of talent.
This week’s game will see Nick Phipps become the second Waratah, after Matt Carraro last weekend, to reach his 50th game for the Waratahs.
Waratahs: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Reece Robinson, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Matt Carraro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 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 Wycliff Palu, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 David Horwitz, 23 Jim Stewart
Date: Friday, July 15
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)