Gibson makes changes to Waratahs team to play Crusaders

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has made two changes to his starting line-up ahead of Saturday night’s round 13 clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Wallabies No.9 Nick Phipps will start ahead of Jake Gordon at the base of the scrum, while outside centre Curtis Rona returns to the starting XV, forcing Lalakai Foketi to the bench.


Gibson said he will look to give each halfback opportunities throughout the next few weeks of competition.

“They’ve got lovely contrasting styles and I think that Nick’s strengths for this game are really important in the way he does speed up the game up with his fitness, and that strength will be an important factor going into this game,” Gibson said.

“We decided a couple of games ago how we are going to take our two halfbacks through this New Zealand period. I want to give both of them the opportunity to be at their best and put in a performance for the NSW Waratahs which could then put them in line for higher honours.”

Young prop Shambeckler Vui is in line to make his second appearance in the sky blue, coming in for NSW stalwart Paddy Ryan in the No.18 jersey.

NSW Waratahs team to play Crusaders

Tom Robertson (36)

Damien Fitzpatrick (41)

Sekope Kepu (116)

Ned Hanigan (24)

Rob Simmons (7)

Will Miller (8)

Michael Hooper (c – 89)

Michael Wells (25)

Nick Phipps (65)

Bernard Foley (vc – 97)

Taqele Naiyaravoro (42)

Kurtley Beale (119)

Curtis Rona (9)

Cam Clark (16)

Israel Folau (81)

Reserves:

Hugh Roach (39)

Harry Johnson-Holmes (9)

Shambeckler Vui (1)

Tom Staniforth (9)

Jed Holloway (34)

Jake Gordon (20)

Lalakai Foketi (9)

Bryce Hegarty (23)