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Rising star Max Jorgensen set to start at fullback vs Hurricanes

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Pete Dovgan/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Teenage sensation Max Jorgensen will start at fullback for the Waratahs when they take on the Hurricanes in Wellington this Friday.

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Jorgensen returns to the startling line up after missing the Tahs’ tough 34-27 loss to Australian rivals the Melbourne Rebels in round three.

But the 18-year-old, who scored three tries in his first two Super Rugby games, is set for a new challenge at Sky Stadium after being handed a start in the No. 15 jumper.

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The Waratahs have made six changes to their first XV ahead of Friday night’s Trans-Tasman derby against the Canes at the ‘Cake Tin’.

After returning from injury against the Rebels, Australian international Harry Johnson-Holmes has been promoted to the starting side.

Johnson-Holmes will pack down in the front row alongside Tom Lambert and Mahe Vailanu.

Both Hugh Sinclair and Jed Holloway – last weekend’s starting locks – are set to miss the round four blockbuster, which has led to a reshuffle.

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Wallaby Ned Hanigan is set to don sky blue for the first time in Super Rugby Pacific this season, and will combine with Taleni Seu in the second row.

Flanker Charlie Gamble is the only other change to the backrow after impressing off the bench in the loss to the Rebels.

Gamble replaces Waratahs enforcer Lachlan Swinton in the starting team, with the former Wallaby having been relegated to bench.

“It’s exciting to have Harry Johnson-Holmes back in the starting team, he got through his minutes last week with no issues, which is a positive for our team,” coach Darren Coleman said in a statement.

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“We’ve had some forced changes in the second row which opens positions in the starting team for Ned Hanigan and Taleni Seu who has been dynamic for us off the bench.

“Swinton has played in the past three games as well as two trial matches, and to give him a break, he will be rotated this week.

“Charlie Gamble will be starting at six and we’re expecting him to be fired up in his first start since round one.”

Utility back Ben Donaldson has been handed the playmaking reigns this week as he moves into first five from fullback. Donaldson will partner captain Jake Gordon in the halves.

As for the rest of the backline, Lalakai Foketi will run out alongside Izaia Perese in the midfield.

Wallaby Mark Nawaqanitawase has been named on the right wing, will Fijian international Nemani Nadolo has been named on the left. Rising star Max Jorgensen will play fullback.

Tane Edmed has “performed solidly” this season, but is set to provide some impact off the bench this week.

“Max Jorgensen’s return enables us to look at a change at number 10,” Coleman added.

“We’re comfortable with Tane’s performance this season, he’s performed solidly, we’re just looking to see if Ben Donaldson in his more natural position at 10 can add another dimension to our attack.”

 

Waratahs team to take on the Hurricanes

  1. Tom Lambert
  2. Mahe Vailanu
  3. Harry Johnson-Holmes
  4. Ned Hanigan
  5. Taleni Seu
  6. Charlie Gamble
  7. Michael Hooper
  8. Langi Gleeson
  9. Jake Gordon
  10. Ben Donaldson
  11. Nemani Nadolo
  12. Lalakai Foketi
  13. Izaia Perese
  14. Mark Nawaqanitawase
  15. Max Jorgensen

 

Replacements:

  1. Tolu Latu
  2. Sateki Latu
  3. Daniel Botha
  4. Lachlan Swinton
  5. Will Harris
  6. Harrison Goddard
  7. Tane Edmed
  8. Mosese Tuipulotu

 

Unavailable: Angus Bell, David Porecki, Dylan Pietsch, Hugh Sinclair, Te Tera Fauklner, Tiaan Tauakipulu, Will Harrison

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