Australian rugby’s oldest rivalry adds a new chapter with the latest meeting between the Waratahs and the Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Poor attendances at last season’s home games for the Waratahs prompted them to move a number of home games to alternative venues across the state of New South Wales.
The Queenslanders arrive without a win thus far in the competition but there have been encouraging signs for the perennial strugglers who will play their first Aussie derby this weekend.
The Tahs have found themselves on either end a of a 1-point swing so far this season, feeling aggrieved to lose to the Hurricanes at home before pinching a win from the Sunwolves on the road. They had a bye last weekend and as a consequence find themselves playing catch-up to the unbeaten Rebels and the Brumbies who have yet to take a week off.
Israel Folau shifts out onto the wing to make space in the XV for Kurtley Beale while across the park Isaac Lucas will make his first start for the Reds this season after impressing off the bench, a move that sees Bryce Hegarty shift to flyhalf in place of young Hamish Stewart.
Folau is on the cusp of becoming the player with the most tries ever scored in the competition.
Paarl Gimnasium product JP Smith packs down in the front row for the Reds while his brother Ruan is on the bench. Smith will face off with experienced Wallaby front-ranker Sekope Kepu in a battle that could help determine the outcome of the match.
Super Rugby LIVE: Waratahs vs Reds
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Substitutes: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Lachlan Swinton, 20 Will Miller, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Mack Mason, 23 Alex Newsome
Reds: 15 Isaac Lucas, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Samu Kerevi (c), 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Sefa Naivalu, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Moses Sorovi, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith
Substitutes: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Caleb Timu, 20 Angus Scott-Young, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Jack Hardy
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