Drew Mitchell starts for Waratahs
May 17, 2013
Drew Mitchell is back in the starting side to boost his hopes of playing against the British & Irish Lions © Getty Images
Mitchell, who is leaving Australian rugby for France at the end of the international season, replaces Peter Betham on the left wing having returned to action via the bench against the Stormers after missing two matches with a hamstring strain. He is one of two changes to the starting side to play the Brumbies, with tight-head prop Paddy Ryan making his fourth start this season in place of Wallabies front-rower Sekope Kepu.
"With the Brumbies also leading the competition, this is a very important game for us," coach Michael Cheika said.
"Last time we played them in Canberra back in round four, our effort was simply not good enough to compete with a very well drilled Brumbies outfit. Throughout this season, we've been working hard at developing our identity and becoming an honest hardworking team - and I think now we're starting to play the kind of attacking running rugby that we want to be known for. How we play under the pressure of this match up will show how committed we are to play the brand of rugby that we want associated with NSW rugby.
"For me, building a winning mentality is about getting up for every game, about having that obsessive mentality every day in training as well as when you step out onto the pitch, but there will be a little extra edge in the game - something I personally enjoy in rugby.
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"The Brumbies have been showing the way all season. They're well ahead of us on the table, they're very disciplined in the way they play the game, and they've got good leadership. I'm sure they'll think they will have an edge on us so it's up to us to respond in kind. We'll require the level of physicality that we showed against the Stormers last week plus 10%."
Waratahs: Israel Folau; Cam Crawford, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Drew Mitchell; Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin; Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (captain); Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani; Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Replacements: John Ulugia, Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Mitchell Chapman, Matt Lucas, Berrick Barnes, Peter Betham.
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