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Waratahs vs Blues 2017

Waratahs vs Blues 2017

Winger Taqele Naiyatavoro has been ruled out with a broken hand but is expected to be fit for their derby against the Rebels in a fortnight’s time, with Reece Robinson taking his spot in the starting side.

NSW WARATAHS v BLUES at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 3.45pm

Head to head: Played 21, Waratahs 8, Blues 13

Waratahs at home: Played 10, Waratahs 7, Blues 3

Last clash: Rd 17, 2015. Blues 34 bt Waratahs 28 in Auckland

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said they wanted to build on the improvements they showed in a 29-26 win over the Reds last weekend.

“Last Saturday we showed the pride our team has in the NSW jersey and we want to do that again for our fans at home,” he said.

“We are pleased to welcome back Tolu Latu who has been a stand out for the team in the number two jersey this season and was forced out last weekend due to a shoulder injury.

“The rotation among our halves will see Jake Gordon return to the starting fifteen with Nick Phipps on the bench.  As I’ve said previously, we have three strong halves and we this combination is the right one to take on the Blues.”

The Waratahs have a spring in their step, after last week’s win over the Reds, and they look to beat the Blues for the seventh time in a row in Sydney. A bonus-point victory would draw the Waratahs level with the Brumbies atop the Australian conference. But with Aussie sides none from 15 in trans-Tasman showdowns in 2017, the Waratahs are wary – and underdogs – nevertheless. The Tahs are out to avoid four straight home losses for the first time since 2012.