A re-jigged front row will face the New South Welshmen at Bankwest Stadium, where kick-off is scheduled for 10h15 on Friday morning (SA time). The match will be broadcast live on SS1.
Carlu Sadie (tighthead prop) and Jan-Henning Campher (hooker) will start, with Jannie du Plessis dropping out of the match-23 and Pieter Jansen moving to the bench. Frans van Wyk is the new replacement prop.
Jamba Ulenga, who joined the Emirates Lions in the off-season, earns his first start for his new franchise on the left wing in place of Courtnall Skosan, while Andre Warner, who moved south across the Jukskei River from the Vodacom Bulls, will run out at scrumhalf.
As a result, Morne van den Berg will start on the bench, while Skosan – who like Du Plessis is being rotated – will not feature against the Waratahs at all.
The Waratahs’ starting XV, meanwhile, shows only two changes to the team that went down against the Rebels, with Lachlan Swinton replacing Jed Holloway in the back row and Mark Nawaqanitawase returning to the wing.
The Emirates Lions will be aiming for their sixth successive victory over the Waratahs, which includes only one match in Sydney back in 2018 when the men from Johannesburg blanked their hosts by 29-0.
Interestingly, the two teams in action at Bankwest Stadium have conceded the least penalties of all the sides in Vodacom Super Rugby this year, with the Emirates Lions on 24 and the Waratahs on 27.
What they said:
Emirates Lions head coach Ivan van Rooyen said: “The Waratahs have lost their first three games, which will make them extremely desperate, so we are expecting a physical onslaught. They have some quality Test players and will be up for the game – we can’t be complacent because we know what is coming our way.”
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Alex Newsome, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Jack Maddocks, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Angus Bell. Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Tetera Faulkner, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 James Ramm.
Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulenga, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Andre Warner, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Jan-Henning Campher, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Morne van den Berg, 23 Wandisile Simelane.
Head to head:
Waratahs won: 7
Emirates Lions won: 6
Waratahs points: 403
Emirates Lions points: 320
Average score: 31-25
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Date: Friday 28 February
SA time: 10h15
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jordan Way (Australia), James Quinn (Australia)
Television match official: Ian Smith (Australia)