NSW Waratahs v QLD Reds

Mike Harris has an impressive record with the boot. Image courtesy of: foxsports.com.au
The Waratahs will be without skipper Berrick Barnes for their round one clash against defending champions QLD Reds on Saturday night. Barnes has been ruled out after he was unable to recover from a groin strain that forced him from the field in last week’s trial match.

The Australian playmakers direction and pinpoint kicking will be sorely missed as the Waratahs hope to avenge their 2011 Super Rugby disappointment. Daniel Halangahu replaces Barnes and will also skipper the side in the absence of Wallabies prop Benn Robinson. The Tahs have been struck by injury early in their campaign with Rocky Elsom, Lachie Turner and Drew Mitchell all missing for the first month or longer.

QLD aren’t as injury struck as their opponents, however are missing a major link in Quade Cooper. 2011 rookie of the year Mike Harris has been named as Coopers’ immediate replacement. Harris’ goal kicking is an added bonus for the Reds. The young Kiwi has been lethal with the boot slotting 23 from 24 attempts in trials and matches.

QLD were embarrassed 30-6 by the Waratahs in round three of last year’s competition however both clubs are fielding very different line-ups on this ocassion. 

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