FULL FLIGHT: Israel Folau of the Waratahs takes the ball forward against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
FULL FLIGHT: Israel Folau of the Waratahs takes the ball forward against the Sunwolves in Tokyo. YUYA SHINO

Folau would welcome Hayne to 15-man game

RUGBY: The Waratahs will play their biggest game of the year in tonight’s Super Rugby blockbuster against the Hurricanes in Sydney ... but much of the talk has focussed on the Hayne Plane.

Fellow code-hopper Israel Folau said he would love Jarryd Hayne – now hoping to make the Fijian rugby team’s final Olympic squad – to join the 15-man game.

“If he was to come and play a 15-man code he would do quite well. He’s naturally talented to pick up the game,” Folau said.

“It would be nice to get someone like Jarryd to come and join. I think it would be a great boost for the team.”

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson – who recently expressed his interest in Hayne – has recalled veteran No.8 Wycliff Palu to the starting side against the Hurricanes.

Palu has recovered from a shoulder injury, meaning Dave Dennis switches from No.8 to the second row, Dean Mumm moves from the second row to blindside flanker and Jack Dempsey drops to the bench.

In the backs, No.9 Nick Phipps returns in place of Matt Lucas, and Matt Carraro replaces Reece Robinson on the wing.

The Hurricanes’ season is at the crossroads, despite being fourth overall and just three competition points behind the first-placed Lions.

If they lose in Sydney they are under threat to miss the play-offs, while the Waratahs could snatch a wildcard spot from them.

Also tonight, the Crusaders host the Rebels at AMI Stadium and the Stormers are in Perth to take on the Western Force.

Early tomorrow morning the Bulls face the Sunwolves, the Sharks play the Cheetahs and the Jaguares take on the Highlanders.


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