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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00