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Phipps back for Tahs, Skelton misses again

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017

NSW Waratahs are again without the muscle of lock Will Skelton, but have regained the services of Wallabies halfback Nick Phipps for their Super Rugby clash with the Sharks in Durban on Sunday (AEDT).

Skelton continues to battle a hamstring injury that forced his late withdrawal ahead of their loss to the Lions last weekend, and his absence has led to a start in the second row for former Shark David McDuling.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said McDuling deserves the extra responsibility.

"We are excited for David who has earned the chance to start after his performance as a finisher in recent weeks," Gibson said.

"It is a great opportunity for him to go up against his old team."

McDuling said his ties to Durban and the Sharks will make Sunday morning's game that little bit more special.

"Everyone enjoys playing against people they know, which is the same in the Australian derbies - you want to get one up over your mates," he said.

"For me it is another great opportunity to pull on a Waratahs jersey, play at a great stadium against a great team," he said.

Phipps's return from an ankle injury has relegated Matt Lucas to the bench.

NSW WARATAHS: Andrew Kellaway, Reece Robinson, Israel Folau, Irae Simone, Rob Horne, Bryce Hegarty, Nick Phipps, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (capt), Jack Dempsey, David McDuling, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson. RES: Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, Senio Toleafoa, Maclean Jones, Matt Lucas, David Horwitz, Cameron Clark.

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