Super Rugby
Waratahs recall Dave Dennis to face Brumbies
March 12, 2014

Dave Dennis will start for New South Wales Waratahs against the Brumbies on Saturday, replacing Stephen Hoiles in the back-row after recovering from the knee injury that sidelined him from the victory against Queensland Reds two weeks ago.

Michael Cheika refused to make further changes to the team that has recorded two impressive bonus-point victories from their two games, saying his players had "played well enough to deserve more opportunity".

"But there are a few players who are pressing hard from the bench as well," Cheika said.

"Sekope Kepu is doing very well; he's pushing hard for his chance. Obviously it's difficult for Stephen Hoiles because he had a very good game in the Queensland match, but everyone understands their role in the team."

Dennis joins Michael Hooper and Wycliff Palu in a Test-strength back-row, while winger Alofa Alofa is the only member of the backline yet to play for the Wallabies.

Cheika, however, is still playing the underdogs card, saying "the Brumbies have got a lot of experience".

"They were described in the commentary last week as very efficient and they certainly are that. They are best team in Australia, they were 15 minutes away from winning the Super Rugby competition last year, and it's up to us to take on the best and try and compete with them away from home."

Waratahs: Israel Folau; Alofa Alofa, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Peter Betham; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (captain); Kane Douglas, Jacques Potgieter; Paddy Ryan, Tatafu Polota Nau, Benn Robinson. Replacements: Tola Latu, Jeremy Tilse, Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Stephen Hoiles, Pat McCutcheon, Brendan McKibbin, Rob Horne, Matt Carraro, Jonno Lance.

© AAP

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