Waratahs name unchanged line-up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waratahs name unchanged line-up

17/03/2010 05:22:33 PM Comments (0)

The Waratahs have unsurprisingly stuck with the combination that thrashed the Lions in their last Super 14 start for Saturday's clash with the Western Force in Perth.

Despite some injury concerns it is the third week in a row that coach Chris Hickey has retained the same 22-man squad.

Hickey said that he was monitoring the work load of players like loose forward Cliff Palu (hamstring) and prop Al Baxter (calf) but was happy for the pair to play.

The Waratahs will go in as warm favourites despite playing away after their record 73-12 romp against the Lions while the Force are 0-4 this season and come into the match on the back of a 50-10 hiding against the Reds.

Hickey said he'd been just as impressed with his side's defence as the attack despite last week's scoreline.

"It's only natural that when you score 11 tries that people will tend to focus on that aspect of the game, and while it is definitely something we're proud of, we were also quite happy with our defensive effort," Hickey said.

"Going into the match our defensive record was not as strong as it has been in recent seasons, however we believe we're starting to make progress there, and we'll need to make more progress this weekend."

He was expecting a close match despite the Force's playing woes, and a difficult run with injuries in 2010.

"You can't assume anything going into these all-Australian matches," Hickey said.

"Last year we were six places ahead of the Force on the ladder and they beat us by a point, so we're definitely not going to be starting the match with any level of complacency."

Meanwhile Australian sevens captain and backrower Patrick McCutcheon has signed a two-year Super 14 contract with the Waratahs.

NSW: Sosene Anesi, Lachie Turner, Tom Carter, Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell, Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (capt), Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, Al Baxter, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Res: Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Will Caldwell, Ben Mowen, Josh Holmes, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne.

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