Waratahs Bolstered By Late Inclusions

Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/Greg Wood/News Limited
The Waratahs welcome back skipper Dave Dennis for the Lions clash. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/Greg Wood/News Limited
The Queensland Reds showed last week that this British & Irish Lions team isn’t unbeatable, by any means. The scoreline in the 22-12 win by the tourists probably didn’t reflect the closeness of the match, as the Reds’ quick lateral movement troubled the larger Lions outfit. The performance was achieved without a number of first choice Queensland players, including inspirational skipper Will Genia.

There will be no such excuses for the Waratahs this weekend with four players drafted in to the squad from the Wallabies and Australian Sevens squad. Bernard Foley has been a standout at fly-half this season and his return from the Sevens team will be welcomed by coach Michael Cheika, as his running game has the potential to unsettle the visitors. Dave Dennis and Rob Horne come in to the squad from the top team, as the ARU sniffs it can strike a psychological blow ahead of the first Test next week.

The Lions are likely to play almost their strongest possible team, given there are just seven days before the opening encounter with Australia. There are rumours skipper Sam Warburton needs a big performance to gain a starting berth next week, while there are still a few other berths up for grabs.

Realistically, though, the Lions are taking on a slightly weakened Super Rugby team which won’t even make the finals. There is probably more interest in seeing if the ‘Tahs can continues playing up-tempo rugby, as they have for most of the season. If they do, they could really stretch the tourists as the Reds did last week.

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