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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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|Saturday 19th July|
|Sharks 31 - 27 Highlanders|
|Brumbies 32 - 30 Chiefs|
|Saturday 12th July|
|Stormers 10 - 34 Sharks|
|Lions 60 - 25 Cheetahs|
|Reds 3 - 34 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 8 Highlanders|
|Friday 11th July|
|Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne Rebels|
|Brumbies 47 - 25 Western Force|
|Blues 8 - 11 Chiefs|
|Sunday 6th July|
|Waratahs 44 - 16 Highlanders|
|Saturday 5th July|
|Cheetahs 27 - 20 Sharks|
|Stormers 16 - 0 Bulls|
|Western Force 30 - 20 Reds|
|Crusaders 21 - 13 Blues|
|Friday 4th July|
|Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne Rebels|
|Chiefs 24 - 16 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 28th June|
|Western Force 14 - 40 Blues|
|Waratahs 39 - 8 Brumbies|
|Hurricanes 16 - 9 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th June|
|Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 Reds|
|Highlanders 29 - 25 Chiefs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com