THE Waratahs have made two changes, one in their starting XV and one on their bench, to their squad to face the ACT Brumbies this Friday at GIO Stadium.
The change to their starting XV is Alex Newsome replaces Curtis Rona on the wing, while reserve back-rower Will Miller, from Berry, has an ankle injury and is expected to miss two weeks - with second-rower Ryan McCauley taking his play on the bench.
Coach Daryl Gibson said the selection of Newsome, who started on the wing in the first two games of the season but was relegated to the bench against the Reds, was purely done with an eye to rotating his outside backs.
“As I’ve said all along, we’ve got a high number of Wallabies and we need to rotate and manage our squad better,” Gibson said.
“Cam Clark will get a chance next week, John Folau hopefully [feature] somewhere around there as well. [Newsome] took his opportunity well the other day.
"I’ve got every faith and trust in our wingers to do the job.”
Rona, who scored a try in the Waratahs’ 28-17 win over the Reds at the SCG on Saturday, could feel hard done by for being left out of the match-day 23 altogether but Gibson insisted it was the best thing in the long run.
“They don’t like it," Gibson said.
"You never like to be rotated out of a squad nor give another person an opportunity but in the modern game and in particular this season where we’ve been asked to manage our team better, it’s just part of it.”
Newsome said: "Any time that you can get to wear the blue jersey it's obviously a big occasion. To definitely start the game is even more sweeter."
Other than Newsome, the Waratahs have named an identical back line ahead of their round five clash.
Halfback Nick Phipps, who has been nursing a calf injury, has been picked on a 5-3 bench in what will be his first proper run of the year.
“He is a bad patient and he’s been wanting this opportunity to get back into the team,” Gibson said.
“He’s worked hard to get himself fit and available and we know he is coming off not a lot of rugby.”
Waratahs team to face Brumbies
(1-15): Harry Johnson-Holmes, Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Jed Holloway, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey, Jake Gordon, Bernard Foley, Alex Newsome, Karmichael Hunt, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale.
Bench: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Rory O’Connor, Chris Talakai, Ryan McCauley, Lachlan Swinton, Nick Phipps, Mack Mason, Cam Clark.