Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Mark Nawaqanitawase dropped as Waratahs look to beat Crusaders again

By Finn Morton
Mark Nawaqanitawase of the Waratahs looks on during the round 15 Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and Moana Pasifika at Allianz Stadium on June 03, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Wallabies wing Mark Nawaqanitawase has been dropped for the Waratahs’ upcoming clash with the Crusaders in Sydney, with Randwick’s Triston Reilly getting the nod in the No. 14 jumper.


Reilly, 25, has scored one try in four appearances for the Waratahs this season. The winger’s one five-pointer came in the round two 37-24 win over the Crusaders in Melbourne.

The Waratahs, who are currently sit third-last with a 1-6 record after seven rounds, will be desperate to repeat their earlier season heroics when they take the field at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday.

Video Spacer

Rugbypass TV

Watch rugby on demand, from exclusive shows and documentaries to extended highlights from RWC 2023. Anywhere. Anytime. All for free!

Join us

Video Spacer

Rugbypass TV

Watch rugby on demand, from exclusive shows and documentaries to extended highlights from RWC 2023. Anywhere. Anytime. All for free!

Join us

“Triston deserves his chance. We all saw what he did against the Crusaders last time,” head coach Darren Coleman said.

“He missed out for a couple of weeks there, but he took it in the right way. He went back and worked hard on his game, stayed positive and played really well for Randwick on the weekend in the Shute Shield.

“His effort areas like kick-chase and defence are really strong and I’m looking forward to what he can provide us this weekend.

“It’s been a big headache in our backline but a good headache to have. This week we have all of our contracted backs available which is unheard of. As a result, we’ve got some good players missing out.”


In another big change for the Tahs, the New South Welshman have welcomed Wallaby Ned Hanigan back into their starting side. Hanigan is back in the mix after recovering from a knee injury.

Hanigan joins fellow Australia international Jed Holloway in the second-row, while Fergus Lee-Warner drops out of the starting side and onto the bench.


Last 5 Meetings

Average Points scored
First try wins
Home team wins

“It’s great to have Ned back,” Coleman explained. “He was one of our better performers prior to his knee issue.

“You just get wholehearted energy from Ned. He’s such a good all-rounder. He’s got a good carry, good in the ruck, and sharp in the lineout. He really cares about the team, so we’re excited to have Ned back.


“Langi is also another welcome addition to the side this week and has proven how valuable he can be in Super Rugby and at international level.”

Looking to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their 2014 championship win over the Crusaders in style, the Waratahs have named a strong side to take on the on the 1-5 Crusaders.

Hayden Thompson-Stringer, Julian Heaven and Harry Johnson-Holmes will pack down in the front-row, while Holloway and Hanigan round out the tight five.

In what could be the Waratahs’ strongest positional group, coach Coleman has picked Lachlan Swinton, Charlie Gamble and Langi Gleeson in the loose forwards.

Captain Jake Gordon joins Tane Edmed in the halves once again, while Wallabies duo Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese will link up in the halves – just as they did during last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Joining Triton Reilly in the outside backs is 2023 Wallabies squad member Dylan Pietsch and fullback Max Jorgensen.

This Trans-Tasman blockbuster at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium is scheduled to get underway at :35 pm EST on Friday evening.

NSW Waratahs to take on Crusaders

  1. Hayden Thompson-Stringer
  2. Julian Heaven
  3. Harry Johnson-Holmes
  4. Jed Holloway
  5. Ned Hanigan
  6. Lachlan Swinton
  7. Charlie Gamble
  8. Langi Gleeson
  9. Jake Gordon (c)
  10. Tane Edmed
  11. Dylan Pietsch
  12. Lalakai Foketi
  13. Izaia Perese
  14. Triston Reilly
  15. Max Jorgensen


  1. Theo Fourie
  2. Lewis Ponini*
  3. Tom Ross
  4. Miles Amatosero
  5. Hugh Sinclair
  6. Jack Grant
  7. Will Harrison
  8. Joey Walton

*Denotes potential Super Rugby Pacific debut

Unavailable David Porecki (Achilles), Thomas Lambert (knee), Archer Holz (shoulder), Mesu Kunavula (knee), Ned Slack-Smith (concussion), Daniel Botha (Achilles), Mahe Vailanu (knee), Angus Bell (toe)


Join free



Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

Abe 3 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

7 Go to comments
Turlough 7 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
FEATURE New Zealand Rugby primed for new civil war with players New Zealand Rugby primed for new civil war with players