Planet Rugby

Dennis returns for Waratahs

11th March 2014 06:29

Share:

Dave Dennis Waratahs v Rebels 2013

Back from injury: Dave Dennis

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has made just one change to his starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.

Skipper Dave Dennis returns to the side, at the expense of Stephen Hoiles, after recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him against the Reds two weeks' ago.

But after two bonus point wins from two outings, Cheika has refused to make any further changes to the team.

"I think they have played well enough to deserve more opportunities," he said.

"But there are a few players who are pressing hard from the bench as well. Sekope Kepu is doing very well, he's pushing hard for his chance.

"Obviously it's difficult for Stephen Hoiles because he had a very good game in the Queensland match but everyone understands their role in the team."

In the tight five, the front row remains the same, whilst lock Jacques Potgieter's robust display against the Reds has enabled him to keep his spot alongside Kane Douglas.

The backrow is now Dennis on the blindside, Michael Hooper at openside flanker and Wycliff Palu at number eight.

Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley will wear nine and 10, while Kurtley Beale will continue to make his play for higher honours from the inside centre position.

Relishing his role at outside centre, Adam Ashley-Cooper provides the link between Beale and the back three of Alofa Alofa, Peter Betham and Israel Folau, which remains unchanged.

Australia's best-performing franchise last season and playing at home, the Brumbies will be a real challenge. "I'm not trying to take the underdog tag, it's there by right," Cheika told the Waratahs' official website.

"The Brumbies have got a lot of experience, they were described in the commentary last week as very efficient and they certainly are that.

"They are best team in Australia, they were 15 minutes away from winning the Super Rugby competition last year and it's up to us to take on the best and try and compete with them away from home."

With the Waratahs' ball in hand style and the Brumbies' kick and containment, it will be a clash of two styles and a bit of a stand-off says Cheika.

"It's a case of who blinks first. I think they know we counterattack they will try kick it long and pin us down there and wait for us to make a mistake.

"The question for us is do we try and not make a mistake or do we counter attack hard and play our best footy....I think you know what we are going to choose, so we'll see how good we are."

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (capt), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tola Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Rob Horne, 24 Matt Carraro, 25 Jonno Lance.

Date: Saturday, March 15
Kick-off: 19:40 local (08:40 GMT)
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Referee: Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffman (Australia), Graham Cooper (Australia)
Television match official: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615