Waratahs back their youth for their clash with the Crusaders

Waratahs back their youth for their clash with the Crusaders

NSW Waratahs Head Coach, Rob Penney has named his first matchday squad of the 2020 Super Rugby season, as his side gets set to cross the ditch and take on the Crusaders in Nelson.



The starting XV features two debutants in Will Harrison and Mark Nawaqanitawase, with the Junior Wallabies pairing being rewarded for strong form in pre-season trials against the Highlanders and the Reds.


Nawaqanitawase is 190cm flyer that will keep both opposition defences and rugby commentators on their toes in this season future.

The 19-year-old gun announced played a starring role on debut for the Waratahs in their trial win over the Highlanders in 2020 and also made headlines last year scoring the second fastest try in U20 final history.



After missing out on all representative honours during school, Mark was scouted by Gen Blue coach Shannon Fraser, who called the then year 12 student and asked him to come in for a trial with the academy.


Just six months later he was scoring tries for fun on the wing for the Junior Wallabies on their way to the final of the 2019 Under 20s World Cup, and more excellent form for NSW Country in the NRC led to Nawaqanitawase landing his first contract with Waratahs.

Angus Bell and Carlo Tizzano are also in line for Super Rugby debuts, named on the bench for Saturday's clash at Trafalgar Park. They'll also be joined by the experienced Tetera Faulkner, Damien Fitzpatrick, Jack Dempsey and Jack Maddocks.

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Kurtley Beale will line up at fullback as Harrison assumes playmaking duties, with the utility back earning his 143rd Waratahs cap, taking him to second on the all-time appearance list.

Lalakai Foketi and Karmichael Hunt will pair in the midfield, flanked by Alex Newsome and Mark Nawaqanitawase on the wings.

Tom Robertson, Robbie Abel and Tetera Faulkner will pack down in the front row, with Harry Johnson-Holmes ruled out due to illness. Tom Staniforth will line up for his 50th Super Rugby cap alongside Rob Simmons in the second row.

Waratahs team to face the Crusaders: 

1. TOM ROBERTSON
2.ROBBIE ABEL
3.TETERA FAULKNER
4. TOM STANIFORTH
5. ROB SIMMONS (c)
6. LACHLAN SWINTON
7. MICHAEL HOOPER
8. JED HOLLOWAY
9. JAKE GORDON
10. WILL HARRISON
11. ALEX NEWSOME
12. KARMICHAEL HUNT
13. LALAKAI FOKETI
14. MARK NAWAQANITAWASE
15. KURTLEY BEALE

Replacements:
16. DAMIEN FITZPATRICK
17. ANGUS BELL
18. CHRIS TALAKAI
19. RYAN MCCAULEY
20. JACK DEMPSEY
21. CARLO TIZZANO
22. MITCH SHORT
23. JACK MADDOCKS

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