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.
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
The Wallabies showed flair in Dublin, but they still have a way to go if they are to do more than make up the numbers at the World Cup, writes Greg Growden
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton