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Waugh out for Tahs

Adrian Warren 12/04/2011 07:14:45 PM Comments (0)

NSW will go into Saturday's Super Rugby clash with the Blues in Auckland without skipper Phil Waugh and their backline could also be changed with centre Tom Carter in doubt with a hamstring injury.

Openside flanker Waugh continues to battle the calf strain which kept him out of last week's victory over the Force.

"Phil is still not quite right with that calf muscle, so he's going to be out this week as well," NSW coach Chris Hickey told reporters on Tuesday.

"We thought it would have been a lot better by today.

"If he played it would be still a significant risk of developing into a tear and that becomes then a five or six week injury."

Hickey will make at least one change to his backline with winger Atieli Pakalani out for at least two weeks with a hamstring problem.

"He will be very disappointed at not being able to play against the Blues, coming from Auckland, but we've got to look at some long term decisions for him as well and get that injury right," Hickey said.

Pakalani was injured against the Force, while centre Carter won't train until Thursday after feeling a twinge in his hamstring near the end of the game in Perth.

Either New Zealander Sosene Anesi or rookie Tom Kingston, who has yet to make a Super Rugby appearance will replace Pakalani.

All Black Anesi was out for four weeks with a crack in his shoulder, but returned to action in a Sub-districts game in Sydney last week.

Hickey was still hoping Carter would be right for the weekend, but his absence could cause a rejig in the Waratahs backline.

Hickey said one option would be to move Ryan Cross from outside centre to inside centre and bringing Lachie Turner from the wing into the no.13 spot

He said he was again looking at having five forwards and just two backs on the bench.

Hickey confirmed Dave Dennis would come off the bench to start at blindside flanker, with Ben Mowen switching from that spot to No.8 in place of the injured Wycliff Palau

"Cliffy is an extremely powerful player, I probably maybe offer a little bit more in the lineout, setpiece, but also just the support around the field," Dennis told reporters.

"I like to get my hands on the ball, I might not be as effective as Cliff, but just my involvement and work rate, I try and add a fair bit."

He said the Blues were a quality side that have probably underachieved in recent years, but have been more consistent this season.

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