New faces in NSW Waratahs team


By NSW Rugby Media

Experienced Northern Suburbs Shute Shield captain Will Miller will lead a NSW Waratahs team full of new faces in Friday’s pre-season match against the Highlanders. Southern Districts stalwart Jed Holloway has been appointed his deputy.

The game in the Central Otago town of Alexandra is the NSW Waratahs’ first of two hit-outs before the Super Rugby season opener against the Hurricanes at Brookvale Oval. Next Thursday the NSW Waratahs face off against the Brumbies in Goulburn in the final pre-season match.

Friday’s game against the Highlanders offers some of NSW’s club rugby talent the chance to play against an international team.

Newcastle hooker Andrew Tuala joins Northern Suburbs No 8 Hugh Sinclair as the two forwards to put on the NSW Waratahs jersey for the first time while Karmichael Hunt will make his debut in the sky blue jumper.

The bench features some emerging talent, including 2018 Australian Schoolboys No 8 Will Harris and Australian Junior Wallabies flyhalf Will Harrison and utility back Ben Donaldson. Also named on the bench are Warringah prop Rory O’Connor, Parramatta front rower JP Sauni and strongman Chris Talakai while Eastern Suburbs lock BJ Edwards and Northern Suburbs No 8 Pat Tafa will make their debut if they come off the bench.

Northern Suburbs speedster Richard Woolf, who was the Shute Shield’s top try scorer in 2018, has also been named on the bench.

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said Friday’s match is an opportunity to assess how the team is tracking at this stage of the season.

“We have been in pre-season training for a couple of months now and the first hit out of the season will be a yardstick of how we are progressing. At the same time, we are also giving opportunities to players who have been part of our programme and some emerging talent who deserve a chance,” Gibson said.

“These pre-season games are important for us to try out combinations and give our next generation of players exposure to international rugby. We have highlighted before the importance of creating depth in our squad and that is what we are working towards,” Gibson added.

Friday’s match kicks off at 1830 (NZT) / 1630 (AEDT). Check out our social channels for regular score updates.

NSW Waratahs team v Highlanders

1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
2 Andrew Tuala
3 Shambeckler Vui
4 Jed Holloway (Vice Captain)
5 Ryan McCauley
6 Lachlan Swinton
7 Will Miller (Captain)
8 Hugh Sinclair
9 Mitch Short
10 Mack Mason
11 Cameron Clark
12 Karmichael Hunt
13 Lalakai Foketi
14 Curtis Rona
15 Alex Newsome

16 JP Sauni
17 Rory O’Connor
18 Chris Talakai
19 Le Roux Roets
20 BJ Edwards
21 Pat Tafa
22 Jake Gordon
23 Ben Donaldson
24 Will Harrison
25 Richard Woolf
26 Will Harris
27 Cody Walker






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