Grayson Hart will make his Waratahs debut when the Sydneysiders take on the Brumbies at ANZ Stadium on Saturday
Impressed by his recent form for club Southern Districts, head coach Michael Foley has backed the 24-year-old scrum-half and Bernard Foley (22) to unleash a full-strength back-line that features five Wallabies.
The former New Zealand U20 halfback is the nephew of former All Blacks coach John Hart and has an Australian grandparent. He replaces South African Sarel Pretorius as part of a revamped Wararahs back-line.
Hart’s only previous Super Rugby experience came three years ago for the Blues.
“He’s had nine games for the Blues that will stand him in good stead,” said Foley.
Foley has switched from full-back to fly-half with incumbent Wallabies pivot Berrick Barnes shifting from that position to inside centre. Versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper moves from inside centre to full-back, while fellow Wallaby Lachie Turner returns from injury to replace Tom Kingston on the wing.
There are also two changes to the pack that started the Waratahs’ last match against the Hurricanes. Dean Mumm replaces Sitaleki Timani in the second row and Chris Alcock comes in for Jono Jenkins at openside flanker.
Wallabies prop Benn Robinson will lead the side and makes his 100th appearance for the ‘Tahs.
Waratahs: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rae, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Lopeti Timani, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Tom Carter, 22 Tom Kingston.
Date: Saturday, 7 July
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (09:40 GMT)
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Julian Pritchard (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)