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Waratahs to start Jacques Potgieter against Reds
February 25, 2014
Jacques Potgieter made a big impression from the bench against Western Force © Getty Images

Jacques Potgieter will start for New South Wales Waratahs against Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby derby at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, the South African replacing Will Skelton alongside Kane Douglas in the second-row.

Skelton made a strong start in the 43-21 win against Western Force on Sunday, polling six points in the Greg Growden Medal count, but Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has a "gut feel" that Potgieter's experience will benefit his pack in what promises to be a willing forward battle against one of the Australian Conference heavyweights.

"Jacques came on and had a really good impact on the weekend, and I'd like Willie to learn how to do the same," Cheika said.

"Jacques is still settling into how we're going to play. He's playing a few more phases than he's had to play before [in South Africa]. He was blowing a fair bit after last week's game so see if we can get some more oxygen in his lungs before the weekend. He'll go as hard as he can. Carry good ball, make good tackles and hit good rucks."

Cheika has otherwise selected an unchanged side after running in six tries to two in the bonus-point thumping of the Force, with retained Paddy Ryan at prop over experienced international Sekope Kepu. But Dave Dennis is in some doubt after missing training on Tuesday with a minor knee problem, and Cheika has named an extended bench that he will trim on Thursday.

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

Super Rugby discussion with Brett McKay and Greg Growden

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