Rising star Mark Nawaqanatiwase who has links to Fiji will start for the NSW Waratahs in their second pre-season match against a star-studded Queensland Reds at the 2023 Santos Festival of Rugby, in Narrabri on Saturday.
The Waratahs suffered a 31-26 loss to the Brumbies in their pre-season opener and Head Coach Darren Coleman has fielded a formidable line-up this week, featuring returning Wallabies, to start the match.
“We’ve picked a strong starting team that will play longer minutes as we build towards round one, and we’re excited to welcome back our Wallabies in Holloway, Gordon, Foketi, Perese, and Nawaqanitawase,” Coleman said.
Nawaqanitawase was part of Eddie Jones Wallabies camp last week and makes his return tomorrow with Jed Holloway runs out for his first match of the 2023 pre-season and locks the scrum with Wallaby teammate Ned Hanigan.
Tom Lambert has been promoted to the starting side after an impressive shift last week, joining Mahe Vailanu and Archer Holz in the front row.
Lachie Swinton continues his comeback from injury, forming an abrasive back row with Charlie Gamble and Will Harris.
Waratahs Skipper Jake Gordon returns to the side and will partner Tane Edmed in the halves.
Fijian winger Nemani Nadolo has been named to start in the second half after his instrumental performance last week.
Waratahs Starters: Tom Lambert, Mahe Vailanu, Archer Holz, Jed Holloway, Ned Hanigan, Lachie Swinton, Charlie Gamble, Will Harris, Jake Gordon, Tane Edmed, Max Jorgensen, Lalakai Foketi, Mosese Tuipulotu, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Ben Donaldson
Finishers: Tolu Latu, Sateki Latu, Te Tera Faulkner, Hugh Sinclair, Langi Gleeson, Harrison Goddard, Henry O’Donnell, Nemani Nadolo, Ben Dowling, Hunter Ward, Harry Wilson, Taleni Seu, Brad Amitanuai