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Waratahs v Lions: Teams
At SFS Stadium Sydney, Saturday May 21, Kick-Off 10.40 BST
The last-placed Lions proved they were no pushovers last week and head to Sydney to face the Waratahs in high spirits.
A home tie against the bottom placed side in the Super Rugby standing would normally seem like an easy five-pointer, but the Lions produced a surprise result in Canberra last week to change those opinions.
The Lions surprised everyone - and probably themselves - last week as they opened their Australasian tour with a win over the bumbling Brumbies in the Aussie capital, which was their second victory in 2011 and their first ever in Canberra.
However, the Lions have failed to beat the Waratahs in their last nine attempts and haven't come close either - their last outing ending in a thumping 73-12 win for Saturday's hosts.
But whilst the Lions once again have nothing to lose and only pride to gain, the sixth-placed Waratahs - fresh from a bye - have everything to play for, with Chris Hickey's team clinging to their wild card position.
Hickey believes the bye has been good for the injury-hit Waratahs after their scrappy 20-15 win over the Western Force in Round 12 but admits having the week off does have its challenges.
"There's lot of ways you can manage the bye and all the key physical indicators that we measure indicate that the bye has been really good for the players both physically and mentally," he said.
"They're quite refreshed, training yesterday was as good as we've trained ... coming off the bye you probably have to be a little bit more focused. You learn your lessons throughout this competition and coming off the last bye we didn't perform as well as we would have liked to."
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Sosene Anesi, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Kane Douglas, 19 Hugh Perrett, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Tom Kingston.
Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Alwyn Hollenbach, 12 Doppies la Grange (c), 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Butch James, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joshua Strauss, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Warren Whiteley, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Dylan des Fountain.
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|Friday 13th February|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
|15:05||Stormers vs Blues|
|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com