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- Super Rugby
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- 3rd May 2014
- KO 10:40
- Ground: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Super Rugby preview: Waratahs take on the Hurricanes at Allianz Stadium
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- Potent Blues outclass Reds
- Sharks nudge further ahead
- Crusaders cruise past Brumbies
- Chiefs return to the top
- Waratahs clinch Canes thriller
- Stormers claim first bonus win
- Bulls end losing streak
Wallaby number eight Wycliff Palu returns to the Waratahs starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Hurricanes at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.
As one of a handful of changes made by coach Michael Cheika, Palu is promoted from the bench in a back-row reshuffle following last weekend's 21-13 loss to the Blues in Auckland.
Skipper Dave Dennis shifts to blindside flanker to accommodate Palu's return, while Jacques Potgieter moves into the second row.
In the front row, Paddy Ryan starts at tighthead instead of Sekope Kepu.
In the backs, Matt Carraro replaces Cam Crawford on the wing, while Alofa Alofa is hoping to return from injury on the bench.
Will Skelton also drops to the bench for a match the Waratahs must win to retain a place in the top six ahead of their bye next week.
"First of all, it's great motivation having Cliff back," said vice-captain Michael Hooper.
"It will be nice to have the big man back. His physicality and the opposition knowing he's in the team is a good (thing) to have."
After a slow start to the season, the fourth-placed Hurricanes have surged to the top of the New Zealand conference after a string of wins.
"They're certainly playing some really good football. They've changed their style of attack and how they go about things and it seems to be working for them," said Waratahs centre Adam Ashley-Cooper.
"So they're certainly competing up there with the Chiefs and they're obviously leading the New Zealand conference ladder for a reason. They're a good team.
"For us, it's a really big game. We're at home, we need to win. Obviously it wasn't the result we wanted last week and I feel this game could define our season."
Two players -James Broadhurst and Julian Savea - are set to clock up 50 matches for the Hurricanes this weekend when the team takes on the Waratahs.
Broadhurst made his debut for the club against the Force in 2010, while Savea debuted against the Highlanders in 2011.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has opted to take a familiar squad on the team's tour of Australia.
The team leave with a determination to continue their four-game winning streak in order to remain in play-off contention.
The only change to the Hurricanes line-up to face the Waratahs comes at reserve half-back, where Billy Guyton replaces Chris Smylie on the pine. Smylie has been ruled out with a hamstring strain.
You can see all the action from Allianz Stadium live on Sky Sports 3 - Red Button or Sky Sports Xtra at 10.40am.
Waratahs:15 Folau, 14 Carraro, 13 Ashley-Cooper, 12 Beale, 11 Horne, 10 Foley, 9 Phipps; 1 Robinson, 2 Polota-Nau, 3 Ryan, 4 Douglas, 5 Potgieter, 6 Dennis (capt), 7 Hooper, 8 Palu.
Replacements (two to be omitted): 16 Latu, 17 Tilse, 18 Kepu, 19 Skelton, 20 Hoiles, 21 McCutcheon, 22 McKibbin, 23 Lance, 24 Alofa, 25 Crawford.
Hurricanes: 15 Taylor, 14 Jane, 13 Smith (capt), 12 Leiua, 11 J Savea, 10 Barrett, 9 Perenara; 1 Franks, 2 Coles, 3 Toomaga-Allen, 4 Thrush, 5 Broadhurst, 6 Levave, 7 Lam, 8 Vito.
Replacements: 16 Matu'u, 17 Eves, 18 Goodes, 19 Thomson, 20 A Savea, 21 Guyton, 22 Bateman, 23 Proctor.
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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