Waugh and Palu boost Tahs
The Waratahs will welcome back skipper Phil Waugh and Australia number eight Wycliff Palu for Saturday's Super 15 derby against the Reds in Brisbane.
Waugh returns from a calf injury while Palu has overcome a hamstring complaint in time for the crucial round 10 clash.
Reliable inside-centre Tom Carter has been rushed back into the starting line-up after missing Saturday's loss to the Blues with a hamstring injury, while Tongan giant Sitaleki Timani has been promoted to starting lock in the other change to the run-on side.
Coach Chris Hickey welcomed the return of his injured trio as the Waratahs look to continue their seven-match winning streak against their Queensland rivals this weekend.
"We've used 31 players already this year and we still have eight players on the sidelines so it's nice to be able to bring so much experience back into the team," Hickey said. "Phil was touch-and-go to be ready in Auckland and I know he loves nothing more than fronting up to take on Queensland.
"Cliff has had a frustrating year or so with injuries but he's always remained positive and worked really hard on his rehab and Tom is also really excited to be coming back for a match as big as this."
Carter, who will bring up his 50th Super Rugby cap, forces Daniel Halangahu to the bench in the only change to the back line.
In the forwards Dave Dennis and Pat McCutcheon make way for Palu and Waugh, while the inconsistent Kane Douglas drops to the bench for Timani.
"Sita is a pretty quiet guy but he lets his performance on the field do all the talking," Hickey said. "He's been putting his hand up for a chance to start and this week he gets his opportunity.
"With Kane Douglas, Dave Dennis and Pat McCutcheon all on the bench we have a lot of options to play with and we know going into this match that we'll need all 22 players to do a job for us."