Young gun named in Waratahs side to play Force

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has recalled former Australian U20s flyhalf Mack Mason to his matchday 23 for this weekend’s match against the Western Force.

Gibson has mande just one change to the starting side with Taqele Naiyaravoro replacing injured winger Bryce Hegarty.

“Losing Bryce Hegarty was a disappointment as he’s been a real impact player for us and he was playing well before he had to come off last week,” said Gibson.

“I was really pleased with the way Taqele played when he came on and so that was an easy decision to make this week.”

Nick Phipps returns to the match day 23 after overcoming an ankle injury that has kept him off the field since the Waratahs match against the Highlanders in May.

“Nick has worked very hard over the last six weeks and he’s very keen to get back to playing and we think his return is best served coming on from the bench.”

“Mack (Mason) has been a real addition to the squad this season. He’s had limited opportunity but he’s always had an excellent attitude at training and deserves a shot to start off the bench for us,” the Waratahs coach said.

Gibson has made one other change to the reserves bench, with prop David Lolohea coming into replace Paddy Ryan, who is out through injury.

Tolu Latu was not considered for selection after straining his neck in a club match on the weekend.

Ryan McCauley, the Australian Under 20 lock, is once again on the bench and will make his Waratah debut if called on to play. Gibson says that the players are determined to play at their best to win the match. “

We’re firmly focused on delivering and our focus doesn’t extend beyond that, making sure that we finish off well.”

The NSW Waratahs play the Western Force on Saturday July 15 at 7:55pm (AEST).

NSW Waratahs team to play Western Force:

Tom Robertson, Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Ned Hanigan, Dean Mumm, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper, Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley, Cam Clark, David Horwitz, Rob Horne, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Israel Folau. Reserves: Hugh Roach, David Lolohea, Angus Taavao, David McDuling, Ryan McCauley, Nick Phipps, Mack Mason, Andrew Kellaway.