Rob Horne showed last week against the Lions just what a dangerous runner he can be, writes BRENTON CHELIN.
He may not be one of the more fancied names in the Waratah's star-studded backline, but Horne has shown ruthless efficiency with his performances this season.
The 24-year old, who has been capped 14 times by the Wallabies, has been shifted to the wing to accommodate the talents of Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper in the midfield.
He remains as solid as ever on defence, but has added an extra attacking dimension to his game, culminating in his brace against the Lions. With such creativity inside of him, he is bound to get more chances as the season progresses, starting this weekend against the Rebels.
Their last visit to Melbourne didn't go as planned, as they succumbed to the home team 24-22, eventually ending their play-off hopes last season. They will be hoping that history doesn't repeat itself on Friday.
In team news, the Rebels have made two injury-enforced changes. Luke Burgess, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season, is replaced by rookie scrumhalf Ben Meehan, while prop Laurie Weeks has been replaced by Paul Alo-Emile.
Meanwhile the Waratahs have also made two changes. Jacques Potgieter has moved into the second row at the expense of Will Skelton while Matt Carraro drops to the bench to accommodate Alofa Alofa on the right wing.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Rebels 1, Waratahs 6
In Melbourne: Rebels 1, Waratahs 2
HORNE'S STATS THAT MATTER
6 – The number of defenders he beat in round 14 (Rank 1)
3 – The number of clean breaks he made in round 14 (Rank 1)
107 – The number of metres he ran in round 14 (Rank 2)
Source: Vodacom Stats App
Rebels – 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Telusa Veainu.
Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs (two to be omitted): 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro, 24 Pat McCutcheon, 25 Taqele Naiyaravoro.
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images