Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has named a strong starting line-up for their against the Reds in Sydney on Saturday.
The starting team for the historic 301st rivalry clash includes three players set to make their debut for the Waratahs, including Test-capped All Black Zac Guildford on the wing, New South Wales rugby pathways star David Horwitz at inside centre, and former Blues prop, Angus Ta’avao.
The run-on squad is bolstered by experience, with the likes of Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Dean Mumm, Paddy Ryan and Will Skelton amongst the forwards, while Jed Holloway is set to add to his four Super Rugby caps in the number eight jersey.
The Tahs’ first highly-anticipated backline for Super Rugby 2016 is filled with an exciting combination of international experience combined with dependable mainstays, including Israel Folau, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, Matt Carraro and Rob Horne.
Ex-NRL flyer, Reece Robinson and key playmaker, Bryce Hegarty also have their chance to make their Waratahs debuts off the replacements bench.
The reserves list features an equally impressive mix of talent, including the Waratahs highest capped player, Benn Robinson, Tolu Latu, local young gun Jack Dempsey and recently returned scrum-half, Matt Lucas.
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 David Dennis, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Jeremy Tilse, 19 Sam Lousi, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Reece Robinson
Date: Saturday, February 27
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19:40 local (08:40 GMT, 21:40 NZST, 10:40 SAST)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Nicholas Berry (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)