The Western Force and Waratahs have made several changes to their lineups for Friday’s Super Rugby AU match in Queensland.
Starting with Tim Sampson’s Western Force, halfback and captain Ian Prior returns from a two-week injury lay-off which has Wallaby Nick Frisby dropping back to the bench.
Former Wallabies prop Pek Cowan also comes back into the starting side, resulting in Chris Heiberg reverting to the substitution lineup.
Sampson has made a tweak to his backline, dropping Jack McGregor to the bench, with Jake Strachan starting for the first time at fullback.
Waratahs coach Rob Penney has made minimal changes to his side following their surprise win over the Reds last weekend.
Rob Simmons’ return in the second row moves Test forward Ned Hanigan to the bench while hooker Robbie Abel returns via the bench for Andrew Tuala.
Hooper will be playing his 150th game for the Waratahs and become the quickest Vodacom Super Rugby player to reach the 150-match milestone when he runs out, smashing Kurtley Beale’s record (30 years, 111 days).
Force – 15 Jake Strachan, 14 Byron Ralston, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Richard Kahui, 11 Brad Lacey, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Brynard Stander, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Henry Stowers, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Tom Sheminant, 19 Johan Bardoul, 20 Ollie Atkins, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Nick Jooste, 23 Jack McGregor.
Waratahs – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 James Ramm, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (c), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Te Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tom Horton, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Hugh Sinclair, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Ben Donaldson, 23 Joey Walton.
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