The Waratahs are traveling this week when they face the Brumbies.
Coming off back to back wins the Waratahs will go with confidence to face a Brumbies side who has only one win against the Chiefs to show so far.
The Brumbies are better than the results that went against them but they need to start playing for 80 minutes and not just 40.
Waratahs head Coach Daryl Gibson has named a relatively unchanged side, with Curtis Rona to be rotated allowing Alex Newsome to start on the wing.Returning to the 23-man squad is NSW Waratahs Club Captain Nick Phipps, who has been sidelined for the start of the 2019 Vodafone Super Rugby with a calf injury.
The Tahs will be out for redemption after the Brumbies stole a win at the end of 2018 Super Rugby season. But the Brumbies on their home turf and on the back of a loss against the Rebels, will be just as hungry for the win.
The Brumbies are welcoming Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin and Lausii Taliauli who will make their first Super Rugby starts of the season.
There’s also an opportunity for two local Academy products to make their Brumbies debut, with the Gungahlin Eagles duo of Tom Ross and Mack Hansen named in the matchday twenty-three for the first time.
Behind the pack, Joe Powell and Christian Lealiifano form the halfback partnership once more.
Some interesting facts (By: Opta)
- The Brumbies have won four of their last five games against the NSW Waratahs, including a 40-31 triumph in their most recent meeting.
- Three of the Brumbies’ last five Super Rugby games at home have been won by the team trailing at half-time on the day, with the ACT club picking up three wins in that span.
- The NSW Waratahs have won six of their last seven Australian derbies in Super Rugby, despite having conceded an average of 26 points per game across that span.
- The Brumbies have scored 18 tries and 120 points in Super Rugby 2019, the second most of any team in the competition behind the Crusaders (23 tries, 141 points).
- Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs) is just one try shy of equalling Doug Howlett (59) as the most prolific try scorer in Super Rugby history; the NSW Waratahs’ flyer has scored five tries in his last three games away from home in the competition.
Prediction: Brumbies by 8, at home and will play this time for 80 minutes
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Lausii Taliauli, 10 Christian Lealiifano (c), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Rob Valentini, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 James Slipper, 18 Tom Ross, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Ryan Lonergan, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Mack Hansen.
Waratahs – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements: : 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Ryan Mccauley, 20 Lachlan Swinton, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Cameron Clark.