Super 14
Injured Waugh sits out Waratahs trial
January 29, 2009
Waratahs prop Al Baxter packs down against the Sharks, Waratahs v Sharks, Super 14 semi-final, Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, Australia, May 24, 2008
Baxter will lead the Waratahs against the Fiji Warriors on Friday © Getty Images

Waratahs flanker Phil Waugh has been ruled out of his side's latest pre-season clash after injuring his ankle in training.

Waugh's omission from the clash against the Fiji Warriors in Newcastle on Friday sees prop Al Baxter step up to captain the side, while Beau Robinson moves into the starting XV.

"It's not a serious injury, but it's enough to keep him off the park past Friday's match," said Head Coach Chris Hickey. "There's a long road ahead so it's not worth risking anything at this stage of the season."

"Beau [Robinson] now has an opportunity to step up, and similarly guys like Pat McCutcheon and Sitiveni Mafi will play a more significant role from the bench."

Australia's most capped prop of all time, Baxter is looking forward to extending his leadership role within the team on Friday night. "It's unfortunate for Waughy with his injury but it's a great honour to be asked to captain the Waratahs," said Baxter. "It's going to be a tough first hit-out for me, it'll be pretty warm, but from what I've heard there's a lot of interest so hopefully there'll be a good crowd there tomorrow night."

The Waratahs wrapped up preparations in Cessnock today and will travel to Newcastle tomorrow morning ahead of their second trial match of 2009.

Waratahs side to face Fiji Warriors, January 30, 2009:

Lachie Turner (Eastwood), Peter Playford (Sydney University), Timana Tahu (West Harbour), Tom Carter (Sydney University), Lote Tuqiri (West Harbour), Daniel Halangahu (Sydney University), Luke Burgess (Eastern Suburbs), Benn Robinson (Eastwood), Tatafu Polota-Nau (Parramatta), Al Baxter [c] (Northern Suburbs), Dean Mumm (Sydney University), Will Caldwell (Sydney University), Ben Mowen (Randwick), Beau Robinson (Warringah), Scott Fava (Eastwood)

Replacements: Adam Freier [vc] (Randwick), Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University), Pat McCutcheon (Sydney University), Chris Thomson (Warringah), Jeremy Su'a (Penrith), Sam Norton-Knight (Northern Suburbs), Kurtley Beale (Northern Suburbs), Dan Palmer (Southern Districts), Dave Dennis (Sydney University), Kane Douglas (Southern Districts), Rob Horne (Southern Districts), Sitiveni Mafi (Parramatta), Matt Carraro (Randwick)


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