Wallabies quartet cleared of injury ahead of Waratahs' quarter-final
The NSW Waratahs’ hopes of an Auckland upset have received a boost with a Wallabies quartet cleared of injury ahead of their Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final against the Blues.
Wallabies hooker Dave Porecki will also return after missing their shock final-round home loss to Moana Pasifika, with coach Darren Coleman making six changes to the starting team.
Porecki is part of a new-look front row alongside Archer Holz and Tetera Faulkner, with Holloway taking the place of Hugh Sinclair in the second row.
Gleeson has overcome a back injury to start at No.8 ahead of Taleni Seu.
Newly re-signed Foketi will return to inside centre in his first appearance since round 11, partnering Joey Walton.
The back three remains from Moana with Perese and Dylan Pietsch on the wings and Mark Nawaqanitwase at 15.
Striving to become the first Australian side to win a finals match in New Zealand in 27 years of Super Rugby, Coleman said the team planned to play like they had nothing to lose.
The Waratahs have lost their past eight games against the Blues, including a record 55-21 defeat last month, and have won only once at Eden Park in 14 Super Rugby meetings since 1996.
“We understand the enormity of the opposition on their home patch, but it’s something we look forward to ripping into,” Coleman said.
“We’ve had a good short week of prep and will play like a team with nothing to lose.”
NSW: Tetera Faulkner, David Porecki, Archer Holz, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Hooper (capt), Langi Gleeson, Harrison Goddard, Ben Donaldson, Dylan Pietsch, Lalakai Foketi, Joey Walton, Izaia Perese, Mark Nawaqanitawase. Reserves: Mahe Vailanu, Tom Lambert, Nephi Leatigaga, Taleni Seu, Charlie Gamble, Teddy Wilson, Tane Edmed, Harry Wilson.
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