WARATAHS vs CRUSADERS, Saturday 3.05pm AEST in Wollongong
The Waratahs will stick with a dual playmaking system for Saturday’s daunting assignment against the Crusaders at WIN Stadium.
Will Harrison gets another start at fullback after being a late call-up to that position following Izaia Perese’s scratching from the Blues game.
Perese (groin) has been passed fit to return at outside centre as winger James Turner makes way following a difficult debut at Eden Park.
Injuries continue to bite NSW hard however, with forwards Max Douglas (arm), Hugh Sinclair (shoulder) and Charlie Gamble (calf) all ruled out.
In their places come Jack Whetton, Jeremy Williams and Jack Dempsey.
Meanwhile, Crusaders captain Scott Barrett has recovered from illness and will start at lock.
In-form flanker Ethan Blackadder is out with concussion, replaced by Sione Havili Talitui, while centre Dallas McLeod gets a start for David Havili.
“He’s (Havili) had a massive load, played big minutes and important minutes, and performed the whole way through,” Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said.
“One of the form players in the comp and we just thought it was a great opportunity for us to freshen him up.”
WARATAHS (15-1): Will Harrison, Jack Maddocks, Izaia Perese, Lalakai Foketi, Alex Newsome, Ben Donaldson, Jake Gordon (c), Will Harris, Jack Dempsey, Lachie Swinton, Jack Whetton, Jeremy Williams, Harry Johnson-Holmes, David Porecki, Angus Bell
Reserves: Joe Cotton, Chris Talakai, Darcy Breen, Sam Caird, Carlo Tizzano, Jack Grant, Tepai Moeroa, Mark Nawaqanitawase
CRUSADERS (15-1): Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Dallas McLeod, Manasa Mataele, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond, Cullen Grace, Sione Havili Talitui, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Scott Barrett (c), Mitchell Dunshea, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, George Bower
Reserves: Nathan Vella, Tamaiti Williams, Oliver Jager, Sam Whitelock, Liam Allen, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, David Havili
Referee: Graham Cooper (AUS)