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The Waratahs host the Rebels at the SCG in this all-Aussie affair. Join The Roar from 7:45pm AEST for all the action from Sydney.
The Tahs go into the game after a crisis-filled week that has seen them lose their talismanic fullback Israel Folau. Replacing the impact of Folau and his try-scoring power will not be easy.
However, the Waratahs do enjoy a great record over the Rebels. They have won 13 of their past 15 encounters and come into this match after a bye.
Meanwhile, Melbourne are coming off a surprise loss to the Stormers. They will be keen to bounce back and maintain their lead at the top of the Australian conference.
NSW have only won three of their seven games this year and are gunning for a victory. They sit currently in third place behind the Rebels and Reds.
Michael Hooper makes his return for the Tahs for his 100th match. They have moved their backline around with Kurtley Beale at fullback, with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Karmichael Hunt together in the centres.
Jake Gordon also gets a chance at 9 ahead of Nick Phipps, while Jed Holloway has replaced Ned Hannigan in the second row.
For the visitors there have been six changes with Anaru Rangi, Jack Maddocks, Matt Philip Richard Hardwick, Matt Gibbon and Jermaine Ainsley all coming back into the starting XV.
The Waratahs might be rested and at home, but they have been under the pump with the Folau saga. The Rebels are having their best-ever season and have the chance to add another important scalp. It’s hard to see them wasting it.
Rebels to win by nine points.
When: 7:45pm AEDT
TV: Fox Sports
Betting: Waratahs $2, Draw $28, Rebels $1.95
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Replacements:16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Will Miller, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Curtis Rona.
1. Matt Gibbon,2. Anaru Rangi,3. Jermaine Ainsley,4. Matt Philip,5. Adam Coleman,6. Luke Jones,7. Richard Hardwick,8. Isi Naisarani,9. Will Genia,10. Quade Cooper,11. Marika Koroibete,12. Billy Meakes,13. Tom English (c),14. Jack Maddocks,15. Reece Hodge.
Replacements:16. Hugh Roach,17. Tetera Faulkner,18. Sam Talakai,19. Ross Haylett-Petty,20. Rob Leota,21. Michael Ruru,22. Campbell Magnay,23. Sione Tuipulotu.