• Folau out to flay Blues

    Israel Folau will be looking to equal the Waratahs' try-scoring season record against the Blues in Auckland on Friday.

    Folau has scored nine tries in five matches, and would almost certainly have broken that record by now had he not missed three matches because of a throat injury. 

    Although the Waratahs beat the Blues 30-27 in Sydney last year (as well as in February's pre-season match), it's five years since their last away win, a narrow 27-22 Phil Waugh-led victory at Eden Park back in March 2009. The only other two contests to be played in Auckland since then both came in 2011, when the Blues recorded back-to-back wins, with the latter (a 26-13 Super Rugby play-off qualifier result) ending the Tahs' title hopes.

    While the Waratahs have stuck with the team that beat the Bulls last weekend, the Blues have made four changes, with Peter Saili (No 8), Simon Hickey (flyhalf), Ma'a Nonu (inside centre) and Frank Halai (fullback) coming into the starting XV.

    HEAD TO HEAD
    Overall: Blues 3 Waratahs 4
    In Auckland: Blues 3 Waratahs 1

    FOLAU'S STATS THAT MATTER
    9 – The number of tries he's scored this season in five matches (Rank 1)
    18 – The number of offloads he's made (Rank 1)
    11 – The number of clean breaks he's made (Rank 2)
    Source: Vodacom Stats App

    Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tony Woodcock.
    Subs: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Steven Luatua, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Pita Ahki.

    Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
    Subs (one to be omitted): 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Pat McCutcheon, 20 Wycliff Palu, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro, 24 Stephen Hoiles.

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    Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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    Simon Borchardt