Folau to wing as Waratahs promote Volavola
March 7, 2013
Ben Volavola has impressed with two appearnaces from the bench and will now start at fullback. © Getty Images
Superstar recruit Israel Folau has been shifted to the wing to make way for impressive youngster Ben Volavola's Super Rugby run-on debut at fullback in Saturday night's clash with the Brumbies in Canberra.
Volavola made a big impact when coming off the bench against Queensland and Melbourne in the opening two rounds and described his call-up to the starting side on Thursday as a "dream come true".
Folau was selected at fullback in both those games and was much improved in the win over the Rebels after a patchy start in the loss to the Reds, but he made his name a winger or centre in his rugby league days.
Coach Michael Cheika made several other changes to the team that beat the Rebels last week. Lachie Turner was dropped to the bench to accommodate Volavola's promotion to the starting side while winger Tom Kingston was dropped from the match squad altogether.
In the pack, captain Dave Dennis was switched to No.8 in Wycliff Palu's injury absence, with Mitchell Chapman to play blindside flanker. Wallabies lock Sitaleki Timani returns to the backrow after missing last week's win over the Rebels because of a head knock. Loose forward Pat McCutcheon makes his long-awaited return to rugby on the bench, after 12 months out with injury.
Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes again failed to recover from a knee injury and the Waratahs will continue to monitor his availability on a week-by-week basis.
Fellow Test representative Rob Horne was set to return next week from a hamstring injury.
NSW Waratahs: Ben Volavola, Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Carter, Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Mitchell Chapman, Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Luke Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Greg Peterson, Lopeti Timani, Pat McCutcheon, Matt Lucas, Lachie Turner.
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick with the latest from the rugby rumour mill, plus Super Rugby and Six Nations preview.
"I am not alone in believing this series could well be decided by who can steal most ball after the tackle." John Taylor previews the Lions' first Test showdown with Australia
"You can keep your Bullitt and French Connection car chases, this was the real thing." Tom Hamilton files his latest Tour Diary from Australia
"O'Driscoll's generosity says so much about the man and the team spirit that Gatland has fostered within the squad." Graham Jenkins reflects on what the Lions' latest win told us
We bring you our pick of the best pictures from around the world in the last seven days with the British & Irish Lions tour and a feast of international rugby taking centre stage