Waratahs' Tuqiri's moved to fullback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs' Tuqiri's moved to fullback

By Darren Walton 08/05/2008 10:14:10 PM Comments (0)

NSW coach Ewen McKenzie has revealed the irresistible form of rugby no-name Matt Carraro triggered Lote Tuqiri's move to fullback for the Waratahs' pivotal clash with the Stormers on Sunday morning (AEST).

While the extra freedom for Tuqiri undoubtedly represents a more potent attacking threat to the Stormers, McKenzie said the dual international's positional switch was necessary to accommodate the powerhouse Carraro on the wing.

The 23-year-old former Australian schoolboy has impressed with a series of rousing displays off the bench and McKenzie believes his direct running and general aggression is a better option than the ball-playing Sam Norton-Knight for what shapes as another bruising encounter in Cape Town.

"We think Matt Carraro's a good guy to come into the side," McKenzie said.

"He's been playing cameos for us. He did a great job against the Force (in particular three weeks ago).

"He's a hard-nosed player. He plays hard at the breakdown. We think the winning of the game will be at the breakdown and he gives us some strength out wide also.

"The Stormers play a wide-to-wide type of game so he gives us someone to really test them out on the flanks.

"So we brought him in and then it was a matter of what the best option (for the reshuffle) was, and we felt Lote could give us some thrust at the back.

"If they kick to us a lot, he'll bring us some thrust.

"So they're just some tactical changes, but the reality is that we're still working within the same bunch of players we've been using for the last six or eight weeks."

Carraro's inclusion has forced Norton-Knight, NSW's regular custodian, to the bench alongside Timana Tahu, who will make his long-awaited comeback after two months out with a hamstring injury.

Tahu was ready to return last week in the 16-13 loss to the Bulls but McKenzie opted for a reserves' bench with a 5-2 split of forwards and backs.

"Like Carraro, Tahu suits the physicality we think we're going to need in this game," McKenzie said.

The Waratahs are hoping to cement second place on the ladder with victory over the fourth-placed Stormers but face the frightening prospect of dropping out of the top four altogether with defeat at Newlands.

The visitors' hopes improved on Thursday night when experienced tighthead Al Baxter was named in the starting side despite copping an accidental elbow to the head at training - the day after fellow Wallabies prop Matt Dunning was forced home from South Africa with a calf injury.

"Technically he's in doubt," McKenzie said.

"But we expect with the rate of improvement he's got now that he'll make the game."

Waratahs: Lote Tuqiri, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Matt Carraro, Kurtley Beale, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Rocky Elsom, Dan Vickerman, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Adam Freier, Sekope Kepu, Will Caldwell, David Lyons, Brett Sheehan, Sam Norton-Knight, Timana Tahu.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news