Lyons to start for ‘Tahs

David Lyons has been named at openside flank by Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie for their clash against the Bulls on Saturday in Sydney.

The addition of Lyons to a loose trio consisting of the Wallaby number eight and fellow Wallabies Rocky Elsom and Wycliff Palu means the Waratahs back row alone will weigh in at more than 350 kilograms.

“There’s a lot to like about the back row we’ve named this week,” said McKenzie.

“They’re a big bunch of blokes but they are also strong runners and they’ll need to do plenty of that against the Bulls.

“Big blokes on big blokes, it’s definitely a highlight of the year when we play the Bulls.”

A renowned Test number eight, Lyons says he has no problems playing openside flank this weekend.

“This is my first start coming back from a knee injury and although I’m not playing number eight I think it’s important for the team to have more experience on the field at the moment,” said Lyons.

“The Bulls are a very physical team but they’ve also got a lot of speed and they’re coming off a good win over the Brumbies so they’re more than a formidable opponent.”

Lyons will become the fourth most capped Waratah in history on Saturday playing his 91st game, one more than former scrumhalf Sam Payne.

Ewen Mckenzie also welcomed the return of Matt Dunning from a knee injury on the bench.

“It’s good to have some positive news with David and Matt coming back,” McKenzie said.

“Experience is impossible to replace and with two quality Test players back in the twenty-two it’s a boost psychologically and game-wise.”

Dunning suffered a knee injury in the first trial game of the year.

Long-term squad member All Manning is set for his Super Rugby debut after being named on the bench for the injured Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Brett Sheehan will start ahead of Josh Valentine at scrumhalf.

Waratahs: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Morgan Turinui, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Lyons, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Will Caldwell, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Alastair Baxter, 2 Adam Freier, 1 Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16 Al Manning, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Ben Hand, 19 Beau Robinson, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Sam Norton-Knight, 22 Sam Harris

 

365 Digital

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