Wallabies hooker Tolu Latu looks set to start his first Super Rugby game of the season in Saturday’s semi-final against the Lions at Ellis Park.
Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson, speaking after his side’s comeback win over the Highlanders last Saturday, dropped a clear hint when asked whether he would consider switching starting roles for his two hookers, Latu and Damien Fitzpatrick.
‘Yes, I think so. We’ve been sharing time there [in that position], 40 minutes each, and it’s really just for continuity that we’ve been starting with Fitzy,’ Gibson said.
The Waratahs lost three lineouts against the Highlanders, and while the physicality of the Lions is set to be a factor in selection, so will the need for improvement at the set piece.
‘We’ve got to make sure our hookers get their roles right, get their triggers right,’ forwards coach Simon Cron commented. ‘We’ve got to get the process right so we’ve got to make sure our hookers push the reset button.
‘The one [lineout loss] five minutes before half-time, Fitzy just got the wrong call [and] decided to throw it to somebody that didn’t exist, so we’ll fix that.’
Cron added that they would need to be ready for a real physical test against the Lions.
‘They are big and strong and they will keep it tight. They will try and punch holes in us around the ruck. The Lions at home are always a big challenge but I reckon the boys are up for it.’
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