Rookie named in Waratahs squad
March 4, 2008

Head Coach Ewen McKenzie has named 18-year-old Rob Horne in the Waratahs squad for Friday's Super 14 local derby with the ACT Brumbies.

Horne is on standby for fullback Lachie Turner who injured his shoulder in Saturday's victory over the Highlanders.

In his first year of senior Rugby, the exciting Southern Districts centre was impressive during the pre-season with the Waratahs and was recently rewarded with a place in the Australian Sevens squad.

"Lachie is a good chance of playing, but if his shoulder doesn't come through Rob will be ready to go," said McKenzie.

"Rob played really well in the trials for us and went to the Sevens in California a few weeks ago which was good for his maturity as a player.

"Whether he plays this week or not, it's going to be good for him long term to be training with the starting XV."

McKenzie has also bracketed Al Baxter in an extended 24-man squad, with his recovery from a round two concussion to be monitored throughout the week.

"We're still pretty hopeful of fielding a consistent starting side again, but we're preparing with a couple more players in the squad just to be safe," said McKenzie.

"There's still a bit of a question mark over Al [Baxter] and Lachie [Turner], but they're both really keen to play and we'll give them every opportunity to prove their fitness.

"This is a massive game for us, not just because it's a local derby. The Brumbies are coming off two wins and we've got the bye next week, so it's important for us to go into the week off with plenty of momentum."

Meanwhile, Daniel Halangahu will return to the field in the HSBC Junior Waratahs clash with the Brumby Runners in Friday's curtain raiser.

Halangahu has been out for more than a month after injuring his ankle in the Waratahs opening trial for 2008 on Australia Day.

Waratahs squad:
1. Sekope Kepu
2. Adam Freier
3. Matt Dunning
4. Will Caldwell
5. Dan Vickerman
6. Rocky Elsom
7. Phil Waugh [c]
8. Wycliff Palu
9. Brett Sheehan
10. Kurtley Beale
11. Lote Tuqiri
12. Tom Carter
13. Ben Jacobs
14. Timana Tahu
15. Lachie Turner/Rob Horne

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. Al Baxter/Dan Palmer
18. Dean Mumm
19. Beau Robinson
20. Luke Burgess
21. Sam Harris
22. Alfi Mafi


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