Waratahs Head Coach Chris Hickey has named 13 players with Super 14 experience, including captain Daniel Halangahu, in a 28-man squad to face the Queensland Reds in the opening trial for 2010 this Saturday.
None of the squad’s Australian Test players have been named in the team, however former All Black Sosene Anesi will make his first appearance in sky blue after moving from Waikato and the Chiefs in the off-season.
The only Wallaby tourist from 2009 to be named in the squad is Dave Dennis who played two mid-week matches on the Spring Tour.
Hickey was looking to bring the Sydney University forward on from the bench but elevated him to the starting XV to allow former Leinster and Northland forward Cam Jowitt another week to recover from thumb surgery.
The Tahs other foreign import, former Emerging Springbok Hendrik Roodt, has been named in the second row alongside north coast product Kane Douglas.
"We’ve been going pretty hard since November so it’s exciting to get to the point of getting players on the park and putting everything into practice in a game situation," said Hickey.
"Trials give individuals good opportunities to push their claims which is what you want to see, and you also want to see the team collectively playing to the structures you’ve put in place.
"It’s the nature of trials that you’ll see a number of different combinations on the park and the ability to keep those structures in place no matter who is on the field goes a long way to building confidence throughout the entire squad."
Hickey has named the same front row as he did for the respective trial in 2009 – Jeremy Tilse, Damien Fitzpatrick and Dan Palmer – with Roodt and Douglas completing the tight five.
Dennis will be joined in the backrow by newcomer Chris Alcock and 2009 Tooheys New Shute Shield Rookie of the Year, Locky McCaffrey.
Josh Holmes returns to NSW in 2010 and gets the first opportunity in the No.9 jersey, while Sydney University pair Halangahu and Tom Carter have been named in the mid-field. Former Junior Waratahs vice-captain Rory Sidey has been named at outside centre.
Nemani Nadolo makes his long-awaited first appearance for NSW on the wing after a stress fracture in his foot ended his 2009 campaign last January.
He is partnered on the opposite flank by former Brumbies flyer Peter Betham who has prepared with the squad as part of the wider training group since late last year. Anesi is the fullback.
Super 14 squad members Chris Thomson and Will Caldwell have been named on the bench alongside Junior Waratahs Ofa Fainga’anuku, Brendan McKibbin, Ben Seymour, Adam D’Arcy, Paddy Ryan, Alex Rokobaro and Jacob Woodhouse.
Former Western Force hooker Luke Holmes, who along with Betham has trained with the Super 14 squad throughout the pre-season, has also been named on the bench alongside experienced club players Hugh Perrett, Tom Azar and Dylan Sigg.
"Some young players and some strong club players always get opportunities in these kind of matches and we’re really happy with some of the players we have selected," said Hickey.
"Ben Seymour and Alex Rokobaro aren’t part of the professional Junior Waratahs squad, but they have trained really well and deserve their places in the squad.
"Jacob Woodhouse is straight out of the Australian Schoolboys and has great potential, while Hugh Perrett, Dylan Sigg and Tom Azar are established players at club level, and you know they will never let you down if they get the opportunity."
Hickey said that he is expecting a tough hit out from a Queensland side determined to turn around a number of underperforming seasons in the Super 14.
"The Reds are always tough – it doesn’t matter whether it is a trial or a competition game," said Hickey.
"They have no shortage of talent throughout the squad, they’ve named two Wallaby tourists and a 20-Test centre so they’re definitely going to be primed for the encounter. We’d expect nothing less."
The squad travels to Lismore on Friday ahead of Saturday’s trial at Oakes Oval before returning to Sydney on Sunday.
15. Sosene Anesi ( Waratahs)
14. Nemani Nadolo (Manly/ Waratahs)
13. Rory Sidey (West Harbour/ Waratahs)
12. Tom Carter (Sydney University/ Waratahs)
11. Peter Betham (Sydney University/Wider Training Group)
10. Daniel Halangahu [c] (Sydney University/ Waratahs)
9. Josh Holmes (Warringah/ Waratahs)
8. Locky McCaffrey (Eastwood/ Junior Waratahs)
7. Chris Alcock (Gordon/ Waratahs)
6. Dave Dennis (Sydney University/ Waratahs)
5. Hendrik Roodt (Gordon/ Waratahs)
4. Kane Douglas (Southern Districts/ Junior Waratahs)
3. Dan Palmer (Southern Districts/ Waratahs)
2. Damien Fitzpatrick (Eastwood/ Waratahs)
1. Jeremy Tilse (Sydney University/ Waratahs)
16. Luke Holmes (Warringah/Wider Training Group)
17. Ofa Fainga’anuku (Gordon/ Junior Waratahs)
18. Chris Thomson (Warringah/ Waratahs)
19. Will Caldwell (Sydney University/ Waratahs)
20. Brendan KcKibbin (Eastern Suburbs/ Junior Waratahs)
21. Ben Seymour (Manly/ Junior Waratahs)
22. Adam D’Arcy (Manly/ Junior Waratahs)
23. Paddy Ryan (Sydney University/ Junior Waratahs)
24. Dylan Sigg (Manly/Wider Training Group)
25. Hugh Perrett (Eastwood/Wider Training Group)
26. Tom Azar (Eastern Suburbs/Wider Training Group)
27. Alex Rokobaro (Sydney University/ Junior Waratahs)
28. Jacob Woodhouse (Sydney University/ Junior Waratahs