Super Rugby: Beale At 12 For Opener As Foley Wins Flyhalf Battle
NSWRU Media Release –
Bernard Foley has won the initial battle for the number 10 jersey while Kurtley Beale will start at inside centre.
Naming his starting XV for the first Asteron Life Super Rugby match of 2014, Head Coach Michael Cheika said, “They’ve both had some good touches in the trials and have enjoyed playing alongside each other. It may take a little longer for them to gel but I’ll give them the time.”
Foley gives the Waratahs the shape and direction that Cheika is looking for and while Beale will also be playing to instructions, he provides the X-factor.
The NSW backline is laden with players ready to showcase their skills.
Israel Folau was in a world of his own in the number 15 jersey last season. With a season of rugby under his belt he’s sure to keep opposition defences on their toes from fullback.
Making his debut on the right wing is the quick-stepping Alofa Alofa, whilst Wallaby Peter Betham is on the left.
In his favourite position at outside centre and partnering Beale is Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Joining the franchise after a stint with the Rebels, scrumhalf Nick Phipps becomes the fourth member of his family to play for the Waratahs.
In the pack, the front row is all-Wallaby, with Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota Nau teaming up with Paddy Ryan, who edges out Sekope Kepu.
“Both have their pluses and there is very little between them but Paddy has had a little bit more aggression and grunt in the trials,” said Cheika on his decision.
Selecting the locks has been one of the hardest decisions for the coach, who has opted for Kane Douglas and 21-year-old Will Skelton and left former Springbok Jacques Potgieter on the bench.
“I think Skelton has done enough to warrant an opportunity,” said Cheika.
Captain Dave Dennis and Michael Hooper are the flankers, with the seasoned Wycliff Palu playing No. 8.
Tickets to the NSW Waratahs first Super Rugby match of the season this Sunday against the Force at Allianz Stadium (kick off 4.05pm) are priced from $20 for adults and are available now fromwaratahs.com.au. Children aged 12 and under can now enjoy free access to all NSW home matches thanks to our new Free Junior Season Pass available now from futuretahs.com.au.
NSW Waratahs team to play the Western Force
Sunday February 23 (4.05pm)
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
1. Benn Robinson (Eastwood)
2. Tatafu Polota Nau (Parramatta)
3. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University)
4. Will Skelton (Sydney University)
5. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts)
6. Dave Dennis (captain, Sydney University)
7. Michael Hooper (Manly)
8. Wycliff Palu (Manly)
9. Nick Phipps (Sydney University)
10. Bernard Foley (Sydney University)
11. Peter Betham (Sydney University)
12. Kurtley Beale (Randwick)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Northern Suburbs)
14. Alofa Alofa (West Harbour)
15. Israel Folau (Sydney University)
16. Tola Latu (Sydney University)
17. Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University)
18. Sekope Kepu (Randwick)
19. Jacques Potgieter
20. Stephen Hoiles (Randwick)/Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University)
21. Brendan McKibbin (Eastern Suburbs)
22. Rob Horne (Southern Districts)