Folau returns for Waratahs clash with the Force

The Waratahs have named their team to play the Western Force in Perth on Saturday with Israel Folau returning to the starting line up having recovered from a throat injury.

Fully recovered and ready to go, Folau makes his comeback as part of a new-look back three, with coach Michael Cheika selecting Rob Horne and Cam Crawford on the wings.

Crawford gets his first shot in the top grade in 2014, courtesy of a broken foot to left wing speedster Peter Betham.

Eight tries in seven games last season gave Crawford the best tries-to-games ratio in Super Rugby but off-season surgery on his left shoulder stalled his charge.

Horne’s second chance in the number 14 jersey comes due to a knee injury to Alofa Alofa.

After making his season debut on the wing against the Sharks, Horne’s high shot on Francios Steyn in the Sharks match saw him suspended for one week. But impressed by Horne’s commitment, Cheika has rushed the 25-year-old back into the starting line up.

With Super Rugby’s leading try-scorer for 2014 Folau back in at fullback, his stand-in for the last two weeks – Kurtley Beale – returns to inside centre, re-establishing the partnership with Adam Ashley-Cooper.

The halves combination remains the same, with Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley continuing the partnership they have enjoyed since Round 1.

The forward pack’s dominate display in the victory over the Stormers has meant coach Cheika has left the pack unchanged.

With the set piece close to its best all season, Benn Robinson and Sekope Kepu remain the starting props with Tatafu Polota Nau at hooker.

Will Skelton, the youngest player in the Waratahs run on pack, and the in-form Kane Douglas are the locks.

With Wycliff Palu unavailable due to an ankle injury, captain Dave Dennis will remain at No. 8, while Jacques Potgieter starts at blindside breakaway and Michael Hooper at open..


1. Benn Robinson , 2. Tatafu Polota Nau , 3. Sekope Kepu , 4.Will Skelton , 5. Kane Douglas , 6. Jacques Potgieter , 7. Michael Hooper , 8. Dave Dennis (c), 9. Nick Phipps , 10. Bernard Foley , 11. Rob Horne , 12. Kurtley Beale , 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper , 14. Cam Crawford , 15 Israel Folau.

Replacements: 16. Tolu Latu , 17. Jeremy Tilse , 18. Paddy Ryan , 19. Stephen Hoiles , 20. Pat McCutcheon , 21. Brendan McKibbin , 22 Jono Lance ,23. Matt Carraro

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