Southern Districts youngster Ben Volavola will make his first start for the HSBC Waratahs on Saturday.
â€śBenâ€™s just earned it â€“ heâ€™s forced me to pick him by coming on and playing really well,â€ť said Head Coach Michael Cheika.Â â€śBenâ€™s form, the way heâ€™s playing the game and the combination heâ€™s forging with Bernard Foley is something I just couldnâ€™t ignore.
Impressive off the bench in the first two rounds, the fullback is one of five changes to the starting XV to play the Brumbies this weekend. The other newcomer is his Southsâ€™ club teammate, lock Sita Timani who returns to the side after recovering from a cork.
Cheika has also made three positional changes to accommodate Volavola’s arrival and the absence of No. 8 Wycliff Palu, who is ruled out with an ankle injury. Lock Mitchell Chapman moves to blindside with captain Dave Dennis taking over at No 8. and Israel Folau will start on the right wing in place of Tom Kingston.
Named amongst the replacements, Pat McCutcheon makes his return to action after twelve months on the sidelines, following a serious ankle injury sustained in round 3 last season. Â Singling him out for praise, Cheika said, â€śI see the way he prepares and trains and his attitude and I canâ€™t leave that type of players out of the team.
â€śHis attitude is one people should be inspired by because of the way he prepares himself.Â I want that type of character in the team.â€ť
Hooker Luke Holmes, scrumhalf Matt Lucas and wing Lachie Turner are also included on the bench, alongside Lopeti Timani, Paddy Ryan and Greg Peterson.
â€śThese guys have all done well in the pre-season but I need to give them opportunities to play, itâ€™s not a case of anyone else having done anything wrong.â€ť
The match will see Sekope Kepu and Dave Dennis earn their 50th caps for the HSBC Waratahs.
HSBC Waratahs team to play the Brumbies
Saturday March 9, 2013
Canberra Stadium (kick off 7.40pm)
15. Ben Volavola (Southern Districts)
14. Israel Folau (Sydney University)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs)
12. Tom Carter (Sydney University)
11. Drew Mitchell (Balmain)
10. Bernard Foley (Sydney University)
9. Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
8. Dave Dennis (Sydney University, captain)
7. Michael Hooper (Manly)
6. Mitchell Chapman (Unattached)
5. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts)
4. Sitaleki Timani (Southern Districts)
3.Â Sekope Kepu (Randwick)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta)
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
16. Luke Holmes (Warringah)
17. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
18. Greg Peterson (Manly)
19. Lopeti Timani (Southern Districts)
20. Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University)
21. Matt Lucas (Manly)
22. Lachie Turner (Eastwood)