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The embattled NSW Waratahs are continuing their High Veld safari in the Big Smoke: Joburg. The Lions await, with an iconoclastic pack full of wily characters: the manic Malcolm Marx, the bantamweight Kwagga Smith, inspirational skipper Warren Whiteley, and a couple of nasty locks. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog, starting from 11:05pm AEST.
The Waratahs have a very similar mix of mobile forwards. Ned Hanigan did well at No.8 last week against a world-class Thor. But he switches back to NO.6. As an 80 minute man, he will need all his oxygen, as Kwagga and reserve Marnus Schoeman and fleet-footed Whiteley attack on the edges.
In the outside backs, the Waratahs are at a bit of a speed disadvantage, with Lion scorchers all over the park. But this will be an intriguing matchup between two half-pairings their respective nations love to nitpick: Nard-Nic vs Elton-Crab. Elton Jantjies usually delivers at home, however. Edge: Lions.
Wildcards: Rob Simmons on Marx’s wobblers. Kurtley Beale’s boot. Aphiwe Dyantyi and Courtnall Skosan in space.
Lions by about 10, I think.
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Tyrone Green
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Hugh Sinclair, 20 Will Miller, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 23 Cam Clark