You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Young Waratahs backs face tough test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017 Adrian Warren

Promising young NSW Waratahs backs will have their mettle tested against a star-studded Highlanders side on Thursday as coach Daryl Gibson seeks to replace departed and injured stalwarts

The match, consisting of two 45-minute halves, will be the Tahs final hit-out before their Super Rugby opener at home to the Force.

New Zealander Gibson was still able to name six Wallabies forwards in his starting line-up despite losing several hundred caps of Test experience between Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Dave Dennis and Wycliff Palu.

Wallabies back Rob Horne and boom young No.8 Jed Holloway are both considered unlikely to recover from injury in time to face the Force.

The Tahs' run-on backline on Thursday contains three highly-rated youngsters in halfback Jake Gordon, centre Irae Simone and winger Harry Jones.

They will be tested by a Highlanders back line including All Blacks vice captain Ben Smith and four other New Zealand representatives: Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga.

"It's really good to test yourself against a quality outfit,' Waratahs defence coach Nathan Grey said.

The teams will play for the Sir Henry Braddon Cup on Thursday, named after the former All Black who captained NSW and also served as president of the NSW Rugby Union.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon