Livescore Sunday, April 21
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Former Junior Wallabies fly-half Will Harrison is in line for his first Super Rugby Pacific match in 707 days after being named to come off the bench for the Waratahs on Friday night.

Harrison, who started in the No. 10 jersey when the Junior Wallabies made the final of the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina, is back after a series of heartbreaking injuries.

Head coach Darren Coleman has also welcomed Lalakai Foketi into the matchday squad for the first time this season after the Wallaby was hospitalised with a neck injury during pre-season.

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“It’s great news,” assistant coach Chris Whitaker said in a statement. “They both received a big cheer in the team meeting when the team was announced.

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“They’ve both obviously had different injury setbacks but they’ve both shown a lot of mental fortitude and strength of character to come back from their injuries.

“The boys saw Lalakai taken away in an ambulance which was quite frightening for them so they’re happy to see him back. He gives us a lot of experience in that backline and the boys love to play with him.

“It’s been a long battle for Will Harrison. It’s so good to see him back. The boys have seen him in here working on his injuries. He’s raring to go and he’s a little terrier who will give us plenty of energy.

“He’s done a lot of hard work to get back to where he is. He’s played some good games for us in our Waratahs A team and played 80 minutes for Randwick last week also.”

In the other changes to the First XV, prop Tom Ross, lock Hugh Sinclair and flanker Lachlan Swinton have all been promoted to the starting side.

“The Rebels play some really good football,” Whitaker added. “Carter Gordon is a real threat and likes to throw the ball around a fair bit. His kicking game is a threat as well so our back three will have to be sharp.

“Up front, they’ve also got some really good ball carriers and they’ll attack us through the middle so we’ve got to be prepared for that.

“At scrum-time and set-piece, they’ve also been very good with Taniela up front, so across the board, it’s important that we fire out shots because they’re a team that can score some points.”

Waratahs team to take on Melbourne Rebels

  1. Angus Bell
  2. Mahe Vailanu
  3. Tom Ross
  4. Jed Holloway
  5. Hugh Sinclair
  6. Lachlan Swinton
  7. Charlie Gamble
  8. Langi Gleeson
  9. Jake Gordon (c)
  10. Tane Edmed
  11. Dylan Pietsch
  12. Joey Walton
  13. Izaia Perese
  14. Mark Nawaqanitawase
  15. Max Jorgensen

Reserves

  1. Julian Heaven
  2. Hayden Thompson-Stringer
  3. Harry Johnson-Holmes
  4. Miles Amatosero
  5. Ned Hanigan
  6. Jack Grant
  7. Will Harrison
  8. Lalakai Foketi

Players unavailable for selection: David Porecki (Achilles), Thomas Lambert (knee), Archer Holz (shoulder), Mesu Kunavula (knee), Ned Slack-Smith (concussion), Daniel Botha (neck)



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