Waratahs defending perfect home record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs defending perfect home record

17/04/2008 11:30:45 AM Comments (0)

The NSW Waratahs have named an unchanged line-up to take on the Lions in Saturday's Super 14 clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The Waratahs are hoping to keep their perfect home record for 2008 intact and also gunning for their fourth win in a row to consolidate their position in the top four.

"Everyone's talking about lots of points against the Lions but we're expecting a really hard match and we're not taking anything for granted," NSW coach Ewen McKenzie said on Thursday.

They led the Crusaders at halftime last week which shows how well they can play, particularly up front where they have a lot of size.

"Yet again we've had a week of rain in Sydney so that's another factor which will add to the toughness of the match."

McKenzie said being able to draw on the same 22 players in consecutive weeks was a huge positive, particularly given the injury troubles the Waratahs have suffered in 2008.

"Al Kanaar was forced to retire earlier this year and we've got Rocky (Elsom) out at the moment; those guys are both Test players so that's a lot of talent to be missing out on," McKenzie said.

"On top of that we have our best back for 2007, Ben Jacobs, and Dave Dennis both out for the year with knee injuries, and Timana (Tahu) was forced out when he was really starting to come along.

"That said, we've won six out of eight, we're four-from-four at home and have won our last three and I'm really happy with how positive the attitude of the entire squad is.

"We did some really good things against the Blues and Force so we feel we're still building and hopefully Saturday night will be another step in the right direction.

"The guys have prepared themselves really well physically and mentally for this match, and knowing our last three games are away from home it makes these next couple of games all the more important."

Skipper Phil Waugh will become the fourth-most capped Waratah in history when he makes his 95th appearance for NSW.

Prop Matt Dunning will join Nathan Grey in fifth on 94 caps, while Adam Freier will become the most capped Waratah hooker in Super Rugby with his 70th appearance.

The full squad is: Sam Norton-Knight, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Lote Tuqiri, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Dean Mumm, Dan Vickerman, Will Caldwell, Matt Dunning, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Adam Freier, Al Baxter, David Lyons, Beau Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Matt Carraro, Alfi Mafi.

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