The NSW Waratahs are headed to McDonald Jones Stadium – their second visit to the Hunter in as many seasons – taking on the Auckland Blues.
It's a largely unchanged side for Penney, with Newcastle product, Harry Johnson-Holmes named after recovering from an illness that sidelined him in Round 1.
Jack Dempsey replaces Jed Holloway at no.8, with the backline unchanged.
Chris Talakai and Carlo Tizzano have been omitted, with Faulkner and Holloway returning to he reserves.
Young winger Mark Nawaqanitawase retains his starting jersey after grabbing a brace against the Crusaders in round in a back field made up of Alex Newsome and Kurtley Beale.
New recruit, Tepai Moeroa is in line for a Super Rugby debut after also being named on the bench.
Moeroa, who made 112 appearances for the Eels between 2014 and 2019, is set to get his first chance in sky blue, with coach Rob Penney eager to see how the utility back fares at Super Rugby level.
Moeroa grew up playing as a centre in rugby, going to school at Sydney's Newington College and making the Australian Schoolboys side, but a deal struck with Parramattia as a teenager meant he began his professional career in rugby league.
“He covers the midfield and more so [number] 12 than 13 but he can cover both,” Penney said. “It’s early days for him but he’s a big strong man. He’s got a good skillset and his game understanding is what has really grown over the last month.
NSW Waratahs Round 2 team announcement:
|1||LOOSEHEAD PROP||TOM ROBERTSON|
|3||TIGHTHEAD PROP||HARRY JOHNSON-HOLMES|
|4||LEFT LOCK||TOM STANIFORTH|
|5||RIGHT LOCK||ROB SIMMONS (c)|
|6||LEFT FLANKER||LACHLAN SWINTON|
|7||RIGHT FLANKER||MICHAEL HOOPER|
|8||NUMBER EIGHT||JACK DEMPSEY|
|11||LEFT WING||ALEX NEWSOME|
|12||INSIDE CENTRE||KARMICHAEL HUNT|
|13||OUTSIDE CENTRE||LALAKAI FOKETI|
|14||RIGHT WING||MARK NAWAQANITAWASE|
|15||FULLBACK||KURTLEY BEALE (vc)|