Defending Super Rugby champions NSW Waratahs will look to make the most of a home semi-final as they aim to go back to back in 2015. Playing in front of a home crowd at Allianz Stadium makes the Waratahs heavy favourites, although the Highlanders will show no fear having already notched an upset win earlier in the season.
Kurtley Beale has failed to recover from the injury that kept him out of the final round of regular season matches. Matt Carraro has been named to replace Beale in the centres, while Rob Horne has overcome a calf injury to take his place on the wing.
The Highlanders actually scored more points in the home and away season than the Waratahs. However, the conference system that guarantees the top side in each country a home finals game meant that while the Highlanders were battling it out with the Chiefs last weekend, the Waratahs were getting the benefit of a week off. Heavy legs will make the Higlanders’ task of improving their record of two wins from nine games in Sydney all the harder.
The Waratahs will have one eye on the first semi-final earlier in the day between the Hurricanes and Brumbies. Should the Brumbies prevail in New Zealand then a Waratahs win sets up an all Australian Grand Final next weekend in Sydney.
Saturday 27th June, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 19:30
NSW Waratahs v Highlanders
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