Berrick Barnes will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season on Friday when the HSBC Waratahs host the Cheetahs at Allianz Stadium.
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 No. 8 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. Fullback 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 tight-head.
On the bench, Cheika has opted for a 4-3 forwards-backs split, with Rob Horne included in a match day 22 for the first time after returning from a hamstring injury sustained in a pre-season trial.
|HSBC Waratahs team to play the Cheetahs
Friday March 15, 2013
Allianz Stadium (kick off 7.40pm)
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
2. John Ulugia (Eastern Suburbs)
3. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
4. Sitaleki Timani (Southern Districts)
5. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts)
6. Dave Dennis (Sydney University, captain)
7. Michael Hooper (Manly)
8. Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University)
9. Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
10. Bernard Foley (Sydney University)
11. Peter Betham (Sydney University)
12. Berrick Barnes (Sydney University)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs)
14. Lachie Turner (Eastwood)
15. Israel Folau (Sydney University)