Waratahs bench Potgieter against Hurricanes

Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika has named a Super Rugby team with several changes to play the unbeaten Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday.

Jacques Potgieter has been troubled by an ankle injury so he has been dropped to the replacements bench with Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Wallabies outside back Adam Ashley-Cooper returns to the starting line up for the first time since the second round and Tolu Latu, Pat McCutcheon and Peter Betham also come into the starting line up.

Taqele Naiyaravoro had to remain in Australia due to a Visa problem.

Waratahs assistant coach says that even though they are down in tenth place and facing the tournament leaders this match is not the be-all and end-all.

“No, I don’t think it’s do or die,” said Gibson on the Waratahs site.

“I think it’s an opportunity to correct and treat our identity.

“We let ourselves down against the Stormers and while we know we’re playing the ‘Canes this weekend our focus has been solely on ourselves to make sure how we perform is up to the standard we expect it to be and if the consequences are that we beat the ‘Canes, then that would be great.”

Looking back on last year’s match against the Hurricanes Gibson said, “They’ve improved a great deal from the team we played last year.”

“I think what they’ve done is tighten up in a few areas like their lineout and their forward play.”

“They’ve always had a very good team from unstructured play; they can and have this season scored plenty of long range tries.”

Waratahs

Israel Folau, Peter Betham, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Pat McCutcheon; Dave Dennis, Will Skelton; Tolu Latu, Benn Robinson.

Replacements ; Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jeremy Tilse, Paddy Ryan, Jacques Potgieter, Mitchell Chapman, Stephen Hoiles, Brendan McKibbin, Matt Carraro, David Horwitz, Jed Holloway. (Two to be omitted)

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