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Tahs desperate for Rebels Super Rugby win

NZN 21/03/2017 Darren Walton

The NSW Waratahs will field a new-look line-up on Friday night as they venture to Melbourne with a genuine desperation to save their Super Rugby season.

Coach Daryl Gibson won't reveal his hand until Thursday, but his assistant Nathan Grey says an overhaul is in the wind after the Waratahs' worst start to a campaign.

"You'll probably see some changes, yeah," Grey said on Tuesday as the Waratahs bid to bounce back from three straight comprehensive defeats at the hands of the Lions, Sharks and Brumbies.

"The way things have been going, it's been frustrating.

"But the pleasing thing is - I know it sounds strange - but we're controlling a lot of our own errors."

The Waratahs are again sweating on Bernard Foley making his first appearance of the season after missing the first four games with post-concussion symptoms.

The Wallabies' playmaker has trained without setback so far this week and a decision will be made on his availability after Wednesday's full-contact session and before the side head south on match eve.

Star centre Israel Folau was rested on Tuesday, but Grey said the dual John Eales Medallist was in no danger of missing the crucial derby at AMI Park.

"He pulled up a little bit sore from (Saturday night's) game," Grey said.

"With that short turnaround, he's a player who we know can perform on limited preparation and, in terms of making sure he's really firing on all cylinders, the decision was made with the medical staff just to let him sit out today and he'll drop straight in tomorrow for a real high-speed session."

Inside centre Irae Simone is one player battling to retain his place in the run-on side. He looks even more unlikely to start after having an injection for a nagging knee injury that will prevent him training for 48 hours.

Veteran Dean Mumm admitted the under-performing Tahs could hardly moan about any potential shake-up.

Mumm said the players must accept as much responsibility for the side's sorry plight as coach Gibson.

"We're the ones that are going out there and offering a collective performance. We own that," he said.

"We know we're not playing how we want to play and to an identity that we're inherently proud of - and we're going to get better.

"But if there's going to be personnel changes, it's hard to say people haven't had chances and, if you don't perform, someone else might get the opportunity to play.

"I back the quality of our squad and the strengths within it, so those people who get the opportunity, it will be very exciting to see what they can do in the jumper."

Grey said not even the winless Rebels could be as desperate as the Waratahs.

"We're going down to Melbourne with a clear real focus and a real desperation to win," he said.

"It's definitely a must-win for us."

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