Cape Town - Flyhalf Bernard Foley will captain the Waratahs in a top of the table Super Rugby derby against Australian Conference rivals the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.
Foley takes over the captaincy from the injured Michael Hooper. 28-year-old Foley is familiar with a leadership role as he is vice-captain of the Waratahs this year and is also as a former Australian Sevens captain.
“It’s a great opportunity for Bernard to grow as a leader,” said Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson.
Foley will lead a side that shows two changes to the starting line-up that took to the field against the Reds in Brisbane at the end of May before the Super Rugby competition took a break for the June internationals.
Ned Hanigan returns from injury and will start at blindside flanker with Will Miller replacing Hooper at seven.
On the bench, tighthead prop Paddy Ryan replaces Shambeckler Vui and Alex Newsome comes in for Lalakai Foketi, who is recovering from a lower leg injury that surfaced in the tour match against Japanese Top League side the NEC Green Rockets two weeks ago.
Gibson has named Israel Folau at fullback, pending the outcome of the player’s judicial hearing.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Tom English (captain), 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Ben Daley
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Fereti Sa’aga, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Ross Haylett-Petty, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Sefa Naivalu
15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (captain), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome