Planet Rugby

Waratahs unchanged at Eden Park

23rd April 2014 06:53

Share:

RUGBY RUGBY UNION ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER; DAVE DENNIS

Waratahs: More of the same

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has named an unchanged starting XV for the ANZAC Day clash with the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

After notching up an important away win against the Stormers in South Africa three weeks ago, the 'Tahs are now looking to add a second.

Although the 'Tahs won the last competitive encounter between the sides (as well as February's pre-season trial), it's five years since their last away win, a narrow 27-22 Phil Waugh-led victory at Eden Park back in March 2009. The only other two contests to be played in Auckland since then both came in 2011, when the Blues recorded back to back wins, with the latter (a 26-13 Super Rugby qualifying final result) ending the Tahs' finals hopes.

This Friday's crucial ANZAC Day encounter will see the Waratahs field an all-Wallaby front row, with Benn Robinson at loosehead, Sekope Kepu at tighthead and Tatafu Polota Nau at hooker.

Playing his best football of the season, Will Skelton retains his position at lock alongside the resilient Kane Douglas, who'll earn his 66th NSW cap on Friday.

Crowd favourite Jacques Potgieter will start at as blindside flanker. On the openside is last week's NSW Man of the Match, Michael Hooper, and captain Dave Dennis is at the back of the pack at number eight.

Starting in every game so far of the season are halves Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley, with the latter needing just 17 points to become the Tahs' eighth most prolific Super Rugby points-scorer.

Recovering from an injured ankle, Kurtley Beale will start at inside centre with Adam Ashley Cooper, who is chasing seven points to rack up for 100 Super Rugby points, at 13.

The back three will see wingers Rob Horne and Cam Crawford combined with fullback Israel Folau, who needs just one more try to equal the Waratahs' record for most individual Super Rugby tries in a season.

Veteran Wycliff Palu returns via the bench after missing the last two games. Cheika has named a nine-man bench to travel to Auckland, with one player still to be omitted to form the matchday 23.

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

Date: Friday, April 25
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 17.35 (05.35 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
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
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615