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HSBC Waratahs name team to take on Lions


HSBC Waratahs captain Dave Dennis will return from international duty to lead his state into one of the most historic matches in NSW rugby history.

By HSBC Waratahs Media Unit

Dennis returns to lead NSW against Lions

HSBC Waratahs captain Dave Dennis will return from international duty to lead his state into one of the most historic matches in NSW rugby history.

One of two Wallabies released for the game by national coach Robbie Deans, Dennis and Test centre Rob Horne will add a valuable 29 caps of Test experience to the courageous young squad that last week defeated a favoured Western Force side in Perth for the first time in Super Rugby history.

With NSW looking to record their first win over Great Britain since their 18-14 victory in 1959, additional breakdown nous will be provided by the return of combative openside Pat McCutcheon.  McCutcheon was expected to captain last week’s side before being withdrawn through injury.  Now fully recovered from the knee knock, the club captain and former Australia Sevens captain is the third and final change to last week’s run-on side.

Although still missing 11 international players, the changes mean that Head Coach Michael Cheika has been able to field a side boasting four international players, with 63-cap Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell starting at fullback and prop Paddy Ryan, who made his Test debut in the 2012 Spring Tour against France, in at tight-head.

The rivalry between NSW and Great Britain dates back 125 years to the teams’ first meeting at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 2 June, 1888 when NSW lost 2-18.  Since then, the sides have met a total of 20 times, with the NSW Waratahs recording four victories and one draw. In their last encounter on June 23, 2001 at the Sydney Football Stadium (now called Allianz Stadium), NSW lost 24-41. The NSW Waratahs last beat the Lions 18-14 at the Sydney Sports Ground in 1959.

Relishing the chance to make history,  HSBC Waratahs Head Coach Michael Cheika said, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want it to be something worth remembering.  We’re going to go for it, we can’t be looking for a glorious defeat. As a player, you want to say that you played in an international-level fixture and you made something of it.”

Following yesterday’s announcement that Lions coach Warren Gatland had picked a strong side, led by Tour captain Sam Warburton, Cheika added, “We’re playing against a team with a massive artillery.  Obviously I’d like to have all our international players available but fair play to the ARU to giving us Dave and Rob back and for releasing Bernard and Matt from the sevens camp.

“We’ve been all about trying to develop a winning attitude, no matter who’s in the jersey.  The odds are against us, massively, but we’ll try and buck them.  As long as there’s a chance, we’ll take it. Anything in red that moves, we’ll have a crack at. We need to play our game and do it as best we can and see what happens.”

Named on the bench are three Shute Shield players, called into the squad as cover.  Whilst Richard Aho and AJ Gilbert made their NSW debuts in last week’s 28-13 win over the Force, if he takes the field, 21-year-old Sydney University prop Sam Talakei will earn his NSW debut.  After pushing hard on the selection front, Liam Winton (Sydney University) and Terrence Hepetema (Randwick) have been named as the squad’s 24th and 25th players, in recognition of their contributions to the squad in the lead up to this match.

The HSBC Waratahs v British & Irish Lions match kicks off at 7.30pm AEST this Saturday, June 15 at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.  NSW fans can follow all the action live on FOX SPORTS or keep up to date with every score live on Twitter by following @NSWWaratahs or searching #WARvLIO.

HSBC Waratahs team to play The British & Irish Lions
Saturday June 15, 2013
Allianz Stadium, Sydney (7.30pm)

1.    Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University, vice captain)
2.    John Ulugia (Eastern Suburbs)
3.    Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
4.    Will Skelton (Sydney University)
5.    Ollie Atkins (Sydney University)
6.    Jed Holloway (Southern Districts)
7.    Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University)
8.    Dave Dennis (Sydney University, captain)
9.    Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
10.    Bernard Foley (Sydney University, vice captain)
11.    Peter Betham (Sydney University)
12.    Tom Carter (Sydney University)
13.    Rob Horne (Southern Districts)
14.    Cam Crawford (Northern Suburbs)
15.    Drew Mitchell (Randwick)

16.    Luke Holmes (Warringah)
17.    Richard Aho (Randwick)*
18.    Sam Talakai (Sydney University)**
19.    Lopeti Timani (Southern Districts)
20. AJ Gilbert (Northern Suburbs)*
21. Matt Lucas (Manly)
22. Ben Volavola (Southern Districts)
23. Tom Kingston (Sydney University)

* Indicates players from outside the 35-man squad
** Indicates uncapped players

Standby players:
24. Liam Winton (Sydney University)*
25. Terrence Hepetema (Randwick)*

British & Irish Lions team

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
14. Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors/Scotland)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/Wales)
12. Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
11. Simon Zebo (Munster/Ireland)
10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/Ireland)
9. Mike Phillips (Bayonne/Wales)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens/England)
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England)
3. Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
4. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales)
5. Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland)
6. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers/England)
7. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues/Wales, capt)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Leinster/Ireland)

16. Richard Hibbard (Ospreys/Wales)
17. Alex Corbisiero (London Irish/England)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers/England)
19. Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers/England)
20. Dan Lydiate (Dragons/Wales)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England)
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens/England)
23. Rob Kearney (Leinster/Ireland)

Waratahs team for Blues


Rob Horne will start at inside centre on Sunday, as the HSBC Waratahs host the Blues at Allianz Stadium in the return of afternoon rugby to Sydney.

Waratahs: Barnes back for Cheetahs match


Berrick Barnes will make his first appearance of the Super Rugby season on Friday when the HSBC Waratahs host the Cheetahs at Allianz Stadium.

Brumbies 35, Waratahs 6


Jake’s boys will be looking for their 3rd consecutive win as they host the Waratahs in Canberra.

Waratahs team for Brumbies


Southern Districts youngster Ben Volavola will make his first start for the HSBC Waratahs on Saturday.

Waratahs team for Rebels


HSBC Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has made two changes to the starting team to play the Rebels at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

O’Connor captains Rebels


James O’Connor to Captain the RaboDirect Rebels against the NSW Waratahs.

50 up for the Reds’ Simmons


St.George Queensland Reds lock Rob Simmons will play his milestone 50th game for Queensland in Saturday’s Templeton Cup grudge match against the NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium.

Folau makes Waratahs debut


Israel Folau will make his Super Rugby debut on Saturday when he pulls on the 15 jersey against the Queensland Reds.

Tahs name 6 Wallabies for warm-up


Michael Hooper will make his NSW debut this Saturday when the HSBC Waratahs take on the Blues in Whangarei (kick off 4.30pm EST).

Cheika appointed Waratahs coach


Michael Cheika has today been appointed Head Coach of the HSBC Waratahs.

Foley joins Force


RugbyWA has appointed former NSW Waratahs mentor Michael Foley to head the Emirates Western Force coaching staff for the 2013 FxPro Super Rugby season.

Foley resigns from Waratahs post


The HSBC Waratahs will have a new head coach next season following Michael Foley’s decision to leave the NSW province.

Tahs team for Brumbies


Grayson Hart will make his NSW debut when the HSBC Waratahs take on the table-topping Brumbies at ANZ Stadium this Saturday.

Drew back for Tahs


NSW fan favourite Drew Mitchell will pull on the sky blue jersey for the first time in over 12 months on Sunday when the HSBC Waratahs take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontain.

Sarel benched for Stormers match


After leading the table-topping Bulls into the closing minutes of last Friday’s match, Head Coach Michael Foley has made four changes to the side in the hope of overcoming the second-placed Stormers.

Coetzee names team, defends tactics


The Stormers have made one forced change and one tactical move for their game against the Waratahs this weekend.

Mitchell included in Tahs squad for SA tour


The HSBC Waratahs have announced their 26-man squad for the upcoming two-match tour of South Africa.

Rocky back to lead Tahs against Bulls


Rocky Elsom will lead the HSBC Waratahs for the second time when the side takes on the Bulls at Allianz Stadium this Friday.

Ludeke forced into changes


Vodacom Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was forced into a couple of changes to his team to face the Waratahs in Sydney on Friday.

Tahs team for Brumbie derby named


His try in the final seconds of last year’s Derby clash secured victory for his new club against his old.  This time around, Michael Foley has backed Sitaleki Timani to make a difference from the first minute, rewarding his impactful performances from the bench with a place in the starting XV.

Waratahs forced into changes


The HSBC Waratahs have named a 22-man squad for this Sunday’s clash with the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium.

McCaw back for Crusaders


The Crusaders head to Sydney this weekend to take on the Waratahs in round ten of the Super Rugby competition.

Elsom returns to action


Rocky Elsom looks set to make his first NSW appearance since 2008 when the HSBC Waratahs take on the Melbourne Rebels this Saturday at the Allianz Stadium.

Waratahs unchanged


Benn Robinson will lead an unchanged HSBC Waratahs side for the third match running as NSW today travel to Perth for a crucial clash with the Western Force.

Waratahs unchanged for Chiefs


Michael Foley has backed the same team to come up with the goods for a second week running as the HSBC Waratahs prepare to travel to Hamilton ahead of Saturday’s round six Super Rugby clash.

Sharks make one change to starting XV


The Sharks have announced their team for their clash against the Waratahs with some expected changes.

Waratahs name new halves pairing for Sharks clash


SYDNEY: The NSW Waratahs have named a new-look halves pairing for their must-win Super Rugby clash against the Sharks at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Ben Horne

Berrick Barnes will start at five-eighth for the first time this season.Berrick Barnes will start at five-eighth for the first time this season.

Stand-in captain Daniel Halangahu has been moved back to the bench, with Berrick Barnes his replacement at five-eighth, and prop Benn Robinson named as skipper for the first time in his career.

Partnering Barnes is Brendan McKibbin, who has been promoted to No.9 at the expense of star South African import Sarel Pretorius, who will be injected as a replacement player.

Wycliff Palu returns from a hamstring injury at No.8, while giant brothers Sitaleki and Lopeti Timani will play their first match together in Waratahs colours and provide an increased physical presence for NSW against the powerful Durban-based side.

The freshen-up comes in the wake of the Waratahs’ shock 21-20 loss to the Western Force last week as they attempt to avoid their worst-ever start to a Super Rugby season against a Sharks team brimming with confidence.

Coach Michael Foley said the time was right to move Wallabies playmaker Barnes into the No.10 jersey, with the move also elevating Tom Carter to the starting side at inside centre.

Foley said Pretorius was demoted to the bench more as a rotation move after a taxing start to the season, and to also take advantage of the added bonus of McKibbin’s goalkicking.

Barnes is still being eased back from a quad strain and Foley will make a decision on Friday as to whether his experienced man will kick goals or whether McKibbin will be his first-choice option, in what is his first-ever starting match.

Robinson has served as Halangahu’s vice-captain through the early rounds and is looking forward to the challenge of leading the side against the noted hardmen in the Sharks pack.

“There is no hiding from last weekend. We understand it was not good enough and no-one is looking to make excuses,” said Foley.

“Cliffy’s (Wycliff Palu) return will be a real boost for the team. He is a world-class player and well be looking for him to have a big influence on the field.

“Benn is a well-respected leader amongst the group and in Daniel’s absence he will captain the side.”

NSW: Bernard Foley, Tom Kingston, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Chris Alcock, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson (capt).Interchange: John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Sitaleki Timani, Lopeti Timani, Jono Jenkins, Sarel Pretorius, Daniel Halangahu, Peter Betham, Brackin Kauraria-Henry (two to be omitted)


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/waratahs-name-new-halves-pairing-for-sharks-clash-20120322-1vllh.html#ixzz1poK9SThC

Jenkins start for Waratahs


Jono Jenkins will make his HSBC  Waratahs Super Rugby starting debut against his former club, the Western Force on Saturday.

Highlanders change 2 for Tahs


Highlanders’ Head Coach, Jamie Joseph, has named his team to play the Waratahs at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow night.

Barnes back for Tahs


Berrick Barnes will return to the HSBC Waratahs starting line up for this Saturday’s round three Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Rebels announce team for Tahs match


Damien Hill has named his 22-man squad for Friday night’s blockbuster clash against the Waratahs at AAMI Park with kick-off scheduled for 7.40pm.

Waratahs change one for Rebels


Former Australian Sevens captain Bernard Foley will wear the No. 15 jersey when the HSBC Waratahs take on the Melbourne Rebels this Friday night at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

Foley favour shines on Pretorius


BARRING those in the injury ward, Waratahs coach Michael Foley will play every name on his roster in next Friday’s trial against Samoa in Tamworth. And he is also expected to unveil his key playmakers.

Josh Rakic

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 03:  Waratahs coach Michael Foley (L) speaks to Brendan McKibbin (R) during a Waratahs Super Rugby training session at McKay Oval, Centennial Park on November 3, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)Foley was coy on who would fill the crucial roles, but South African recruit Sarel Pretorius is expected to get first shot at the No.9 jumper, inside Berrick Barnes and new leadership group member Tom Carter.

Foley’s long-held admiration for Carter was obvious in his selection in the Waratahs’ eight-man leadership group, while Barnes’s return to form internationally last year is understood to have won him the opportunity to reclaim the No.10 jersey.

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Pretorius has made a good impression since joining the Waratahs. He bench-lifts more than any other player and his running game is expected to be a big asset to Barnes and the outside backs.

Just how long the pair are partnered in Friday’s match will be the true indication of Foley’s early preference.

”One of the things with the backs is that there is a hell of a lot of versatility there,” Foley said. ”We’ve got three really strong No.9s and three No.10s who can all do the job. All of those guys will be very important. And you want to give them time to form combinations and make the calls. That’s a really important part of the trials. And every one of them will be getting time.”

Forwards Rocky Elsom and Dan Vickerman will travel with the team despite being unavailable until the regular season. The rest of the rehab group – Drew Mitchell (ankle), Benn Robinson (knee), Sitaleki Timani, Wycliff Palu (hamstring) – will travel but are not expected to play until the second trial against Tonga the week after in Sydney.

”A lot of those could probably play this week but we thought it best to give them that extra week’s rest,” Foley said. ”They will all be involved in the second trial.”

Among the fit players, ”just about every body in the squad will play a large amount of game time”, Foley said. ”It’s an important part of the pre-season for us as a new group because it’s the first time we’ll get to test the things we’ve previously been practising in a completely controlled environment.

”Even though we work on things at training, when you’re in the environment of the squad it’s easier to understand and pick what your opposition is doing. This will be our first chance to put things into practice.

”The thing is, all the guys who have trained throughout the pre-season have done well and they deserve the opportunity to play. Over the next two weeks we’ll know exactly where they are at in terms of their game and, from a coaching perspective, be able to provide them with more feedback.”

The second trial game against Tonga will be played on February 17 at Sydney Football Stadium.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/foley-favour-shines-on-pretorius-20120203-1qxm8.html#ixzz1lZYHHFcu

Incoming playmaker Pretorius hopes to turn jeers into cheers for Tahs fans


STAR Waratahs recruit Sarel Pretorius remembers the crowd booing after NSW lost to the Cheetahs on sodden home turf in March last year. It was the lowest moment of the Super Rugby season for the team he was soon to join, a 20-point smack-down against the tournament cellar-dwellers.

Georgina Robinson

January 25, 2012

Waratahs training at McKay Oval Centennial Park new scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius Thursday November 3rd 2011.Pictures Steve ChristoFlat-out effort … Sarel Pretorius hopes to turn the Waratahs fans’ jeers to cheers when he lines up for the Super Rugby team this season. Photo: Steve Christo

A game riddled with errors and topped off with the vocal condemnation from a two-thirds-empty stadium. And Pretorius was elated.

The halfback had been sent on about 20 minutes in to replace injured captain Andries Strauss on the wing. Despite the unfamiliar position, he went on to make the difference in the struggling franchise’s first ever overseas win and their first against the Waratahs in four years.

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His tactical kicking and trademark speed were instrumental in the 23-3 drubbing. And it was the game that affirmed the Waratahs’ interest in his talents.

”As soon as [departed halfback Luke] Burgess let us know he intended to move on [assistant coach] Scotty Bowen was charged with scouring the world for our replacement,” coach Michael Foley said.

At that stage Pretorius was one of two players Bowen had pinpointed. His star turn on the wing did the trick. ”I just thought the fact that he entered the game on the wing and the fact he was as far away from the position he normally played as he could be, the way he handled himself and played, that spoke a fair bit about the temperament of the guy,” Foley said.

”The skills were already there, but that he could make the crucial play in vital minutes of the match galvanised for us that he had the most important thing about a No.9 and that is that he certainly has the temperament required.”

Pretorius acknowledges the career-changing impact of that match but also remembers being surprised by the boos and taunts.

”It wasn’t nice for the [Waratahs], I think they got a bit of slack, it was not nice to hear [the booing].”

So how does Pretorius feel about being part of a team whose fans sometimes resemble a mass of over-bearing tennis parents?

”I think their supporters have big standards for the team, they expect them to win those types of games,” he said. ”But the players also have big standards for themselves.”

Pretorius is nearing the end of his third month in Australia. It’s a big move for the boy from Reitz – a small farming town about two hours drive from Johannesburg – who grew up speaking only Afrikaans at home.

He and wife Nicola are expecting their first child in April. Her family will come out for the birth while Pretorius manages fatherhood with making an impact on the field.

”There’s a lot of competition but competition is always a good thing, we’ll see what happens,” he said, referring to fellow halfbacks Brendan McKibbin and Grayson Hart. Last season was Pretorius’s breakthrough year. He was the tournament’s equal top try scorer – alongside the Bulls’s Bjorn Basson and Sean Maitland for the Crusaders – and appeared in the top four for a host of other indicators.

There were less favourable indicators as well – Pretorius finished the season with the most missed tackles – but he said he knew what he needed to do to improve.

”I’ve been working with Scotty Bowen on my kicking game so I think I am improving that quite a lot and [working] on my defence as well,” he said.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/incoming-playmaker-hopes-to-turn-jeers-into-cheers-for-tahs-fans-20120124-1qfsl.html#ixzz1kRizk165

Sarel signs with Tahs


After being overlooked by Springbok management earlier this week, Sarel Pretorius decided to sign with the Sydney based Waratahs.

Waratahs 20, Force 15


The Force has the ability to shock any team on any day, will they do it in Sydney today against their Aussie rivals the Waratahs?

Waratahs 28, Rebels 9 (Full time)


The Rebels travel to Sydney to face the Tahs in an all-Aussie derby where even the premiers of each state got involved.

Reds 19, Waratahs 15


The Reds’ only loss the season so far came against the Waratahs. Can the Tahs do South African teams a huge favour in this all-Aussie derby?

Blues (31) v. Waratahs (17) – Fulltime


The Blues host the Waratahs in the first game on Saturday.

Woodcock out for Blues


Pat Lam’s most significant change to the Blues line-up facing the Waratahs this weekend is in the front row with prop Tony Woodcock out for the match.

Rebels signs Beale


The Melbourne Rebels made a major signing when they convinced Waratahs utility back, Kurtley Beale, to move to Melbourne on a 2-year deal.

Force 3, Waratahs 31


The Force have come close to beating a number of teams this season, will they finally put the nail in the coffin as they host the Tahs in Perth?

Defence will win Super 15


As much as the title suggests this is quote from a South African coach, it is not, it actually comes from the top Australian franchise in recent years.

Waratahs 23, Chiefs 16 (Final score)


The Waratahs will host the Chiefs in Sydney on Friday morning in our second game of the weekend.

Brumbies 22, Waratahs 29 (Full time)


Both these Aussie teams are shockingly out of form and will look to make amends when they tackle each other in Canberra.

Crusaders 33, Waratahs 18 (full time)


It will be an emotional occassion as the Crusaders will run out their adopted home of Nelson to host the Waratahs.

Reds 6, Waratahs 30 (Full time)


The ever improving Reds travels to Sydney to face the best Australian Super rugby team in recent years.

Rebels 0 v. Waratahs 43 (Full time) – Welcome to the big time Rebs


The second game sees the Super rugby debutants take on the Waratahs at home in Melbourne.

Stormers 25, Waratahs 6 – Semi final 2


It would be difficult to find two more equally matched teams to contest a semifinal than the Stormers and Waratahs.