Super Rugby

Milestone for Hooper as Waratahs tweak side for Bulls

Michael Hooper (Getty Images)
Michael Hooper (Getty Images)

Pretoria - Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has named his team to face the Bulls in their Super Rugby clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:05.

Gibson has made a few changes to the side that lost 23-15 to the Sharks in Sydney. The changes are due to injuries, suspension and tactical plans for the high altitude clash.

With Michael Wells and Jack Dempsey injured, and Jed Holloway suspended, Gibson has given youngster Lachie Swinton a start at No 6 and Ned Hanigan a run at No 8. It will be Hanigan's first game at No 8 for the Waratahs, while Tom Staniforth will start in the second row in place of Holloway.

"It is a real opportunity for him to show his versatility," Gibson said of Hanigan, as quoted by the rugby.com.au website.

"All season he has been packing down at No 8 (in training) and he has some very good skills that he learned from being on-call for the Wallabies.

"It is something they wanted him to make sure he continues to do and he has an ability to do that, so really comfortable with slotting him into that position.

"The main reason for sticking Lachie in is his physical size and what we expect from the Bulls on Saturday we see that as really important.

Flank Michael Hooper will also become the most-capped Waratahs Super Rugby captain with 57 caps as skipper.

In an otherwise unchanged backline, Nick Phipps has replaced Jake Gordon at scrumhalf to bring a "high tempo start".

The Waratahs bench sees the return of prop Tom Robertson from a six month ACL injury, and the call-up of ex-Rebels backrower Hugh Sinclair.

Teams:

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard (captain), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Dylan Sage

Waratahs

15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ned Hanigan, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes

Substitutes: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome

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