Tahs set to face giant Stormers

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    The fast-improving NSW Waratahs are set to be tested in the lineout by one of the tallest second row combinations in world rugby when they confront the Stormers on Saturday.

    Eben Etzebeth, who stands 204cm tall, is likely to make his first Super Rugby start of the season alongside fellow Springbok lock, 208 cm giant Andries Bekker.

    Returning from a pre-season ankle injury, Etzebeth made his first appearance of the season off the bench in the last-round loss to the Blues in Auckland.

    A starting spot in the second row opened up after De Kock Steenkamp suffered a sternum injury against the Blues and was ruled out for up to four weeks.

    Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said Etzebeth would be ready to start against the eighth-placed Waratahs, who are one point and two places above his team.

    “Eben did well against the Blues, in his first appearance of the 2013 Super Rugby season,” Coetzee said.

    “We’re looking forward to him adding more value as the tour progresses.”

    NSW boast their own tall timber in Wallabies locks, 202cm Kane Douglas and 203cm Sitaleki Timani.

    The Waratahs lineout improved against the Kings last week following a shoddy performance against the Bulls.

    “We’re going to have to work on it even more with a massive lineout coming to confront us on Saturday,” Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said.

    Coetzee described the Waratahs’ performance in their last-round 72-10 thrashing of the Kings as a powerful display.

    “They showed their intent to dominate. They’re a good side,” Coetzee said.

    “(But) we won’t be changing anything in our preparation this week.

    “We will ensure we’re more accurate at training, to help with our game-day execution.”

    © AAP 2017

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