The Waratahs will take on their neighbors the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday, 23 May 2013, and the Rebels will be looking to take the momentum from the win over the Stormers into the encounter.
The two main changes to the team include scrumhalf Nick Phipps and Luke Jones returning to the starting XV.
James O’Connor will not be able to return from injury this week, and the playmaking duties will remain with Bryce Hegarty, who did a good job last week.
Phipps has been playing well, and him coming off the bench proved instrumental last week, so the more time he’s on the field, the better.
As for the Waratahs, four changes have been made since last week’s game against the Brumbies.
Berrick Barnes and Matt Lucas will start in place of Brendan McKibbin and Rob Horne respectively.
John Ulugia is named at hooker after Tatafu Polota-Nau fractured his forearm in last week’s game. Alongside him, prop Sekope Kepu returns to the run-on side, whilst Paddy Ryan is named on the bench.
Rugby Informer’s take: The Rebels have shown that they don’t need their big stars to win matches, but the Waratahs are on of the best attacking teams in the competition and won’t be looking to give the Rebels any chances. Waratahs by 10.
The match kicks off on Friday, 24 May 2013, at 11:40 (SA time).
The full teams are as follow:
Rebels – 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom English, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Lachlan Mitchell, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Luke Jones 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Subs: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville,, 19 Gareth Delve, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 James Hilgendorf, 22 Kimami Sitauti.
Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Peter Betham, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Matt Lucas, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 John Ulugia, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Will Skelton, 19 Mitchell Chapman, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Rob Horne, 22 Tom Kingston.