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Barnes back, Mitchell dropped

13th March 2013 05:32

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berrick barnes

Berrick Barnes: First game of 2013

Berrick Barnes will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season on Friday when the Waratahs host the Cheetahs in Sydney.

The inclusion of Barnes at inside centre is one of six personnel and two positional changes made by head coach Michael Cheika to the team that lost to the Brumbies last weekend.

Also returning to the starting XV is Pat McCutcheon, who takes over at number eight in place of the injured Wycliff Palu, allowing captain Dave Dennis to revert his preferred position on the blindside flank.

Out wide, a new wing combination sees Wallaby Lachie Turner elevated from the bench to partner up with newcomer Peter Betham.

A stand out in last season's ITM Cup, Betham returns from a trial match ankle injury to take over from Drew Mitchell.

Full-back Ben Volavola reverts to the bench in place of Israel Folau, who shifts back into the 15 jersey.

In the only remaining changes to the pack, hooker John Ulugia takes over from the injured Tatafu Polota-Nau, whilst Paddy Ryan gets a start at tighthead.

On the bench, Cheika has opted for a 4-3 forwards-backs split, with Rob Horne included in a matchday 22 for the first time after returning from a hamstring injury sustained in a pre-season trial.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Pat McCutcheon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Mitchell Chapman, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Matt Lucas, 21 Ben Volavola, 22 Rob Horne.

Date: Friday, 15 March
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:40 (08:40 GMT)
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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