Tahs unchanged for Stormers

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Tahs unchanged for Stormers

Luke Burgess is expected to overcome a corked thigh to play in an unchanged Waratahs side for their Super 14 clash with the Stormers on Saturday.

Burgess will train first time on Thursday since being forced from the field in last Friday’s 27-22 win over the Blues in Auckland.

Coach Chris Hickey said the fitness of Burgess and centre Rob Horne (flu) would be monitored over the next few days but he expected both players to recover in time.

After securing the Waratah’s first win at Eden Park in Super rugby history, Hickey is focused on extending a 10-match winning streak at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Saturday’s match will be a special moment for big No 8 Wycliff Palu who will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap against the Stormers.

Waratahs – 15 Sam Norton Knight, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Will Caldwell, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Chris Thomson, 19 Luke Doherty, 20 Brett Sheehan, 21 Kurtley Beale, 22 Timana Tahu.

Mooney keeps faith in battered troops

Reds coach Phil Mooney has stuck with the same players who were thumped 50-26 by the Chiefs for Friday’s Super 14 match against the Western Force.

Mooney has kept the faith in his starting 15 from Saturday’s loss, making just one change to his bench with former Highlanders forward Ezra Taylor returning from injury to replace Tasi Luafutu.

Wallabies winger Peter Hynes (knee) hasn’t recovered in time from an arthroscopy, giving young wingers Blair Connor and Rod Davies chances to atone after a tough game against the Chiefs back three last week.

Reds – 15 Mark McLinden, 14 Blair Connor, 13 Digby Ioane, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Van Humphries, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Ben Daley.
Subs: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Jack Kennedy, 18 Scott Higginbotham, 19 Ezra Taylor, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Charlie Fetoai.

Brown back for Force

The Western Force have welcomed back Richard Brown and winger Nick Cummins for Friday’s must-win clash against the Reds.

Brown has missed the past three matches with a shoulder injury while Cummins missed the defeat to the Sharks with a hamstring strain.

Drew Mitchell switches from the wing to fullback, while James O’Connor reverts from the No.15 jersey to inside centre. Junior Pelesasa has been relegated to the bench.

Brown replaces Tamaiti Horua in the run-on side while Scott Staniforth retains his position on the right wing.

Force – 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Scott Staniforth, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 James O’Connor, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Tom Hockings, 3 Ben Castle, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Luke Holmes, 17 AJ Whalley, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Tamaiti Horua, 20 Chris O’Young, 21 Junior Pelesasa, 22 Haig Sare.

This thread will be updated throughout the day.