Super Rugby

Waratahs to feature teenage prop against Rebels

Brett Cameron of the Crusaders is tackled by Angus Bell of the Waratahs (Getty Images)
Brett Cameron of the Crusaders is tackled by Angus Bell of the Waratahs (Getty Images)

Sydney - Waratahs head coach Rob Penney has rung the changes for their Super Rugby derby against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday (10:15 SA time).

Loosehead prop Angus Bell will make his Super Rugby starting debut in the front-row alongside Robbie Abel and Harry Johnson-Holmes.

The inclusion of Bell, 19, is one of six changes made by Penney to the run-on side following the Waratahs' 32-12 loss to the Blues in Newcastle last weekend.

Jed Holloway returns to the back-row for Lachie Swinton, while Alex Newsome comes in from the wing to replace Lalakai Foketi at No 13.

Jack Maddocks gets his first start for the Waratahs on the left wing, with Cameron Clark starting at right wing, replacing Mark Nawaqanitawase, who has recovered from his awkward try-scoring landing last week but has been benched as a management call.

Penney said some of the changes were motivated partly by some concerns arising from their first two games and to give players exposure to Super Rugby.

"It is partly a reaction to some of the issues we have been having, and partly the need to find our best combinations and grow the total group," he said.

“We have come in on a pretty short programme and there is not a lot of experience in the group, as you know. We have just got to expose some people, so it is a bit of both there.”

The elevation of Bell, one of the promising stars to emerge from the 2018 Australian Schools and under18s side and then the 2019 Junior Wallabies, to a starting loosehead role ahead of Wallaby Tom Roberston is a big show of confidence in a position that values players closer to 30 than 20.

But Penney said the big youngster, who is son of former Wallaby and current New South Wales scrum coach Mark Bell, can handle the step up after seeing his impact from the bench.

Teams:

Rebels

TBA

Waratahs

15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cameron Clark, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Jack Maddocks, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell

Substitutes: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Ryan Mccauley, 20 Lachlan Swinton, 21 Mitch Short , 22 Lalkai Foketi, 23 Mark Nawaqanitawase

- TeamTalk Media

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