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Hunt ruled out of Waratahs' Super derby

Dual international Karmichael Hunt has been ruled out of the NSW Waratahs' Super Rugby showdown with the Brumbies with a hamstring injury.

Hunt ruled out of Waratahs' Super derby

Dual international Karmichael Hunt has been ruled out of the NSW Waratahs' Super Rugby showdown with the Brumbies with a hamstring injury.

KARMICHAEL HUNT of the Wallabies is tackled during the match between the Australian Wallabies and the Barbarians at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
KARMICHAEL HUNT of the Wallabies is tackled during the match between the Australian Wallabies and the Barbarians at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture:Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

NSW Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is playing down the late withdrawal of in-form Karmichael Hunt from Friday night's Super Rugby derby against the Brumbies.

Hunt has a hamstring strain, forcing a backline reshuffle with Kurtley Beale reverting to centre to partner Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau returning to fullback.


Having been rested under Gibson's rotation policy when the team was initially named on Wednesday, Curtis Rona has earned a reprieve and will start on Folau's right wing.

"Kurtley's been itching for a crack at his preferred position, Israel goes back to his so it's really an easy shift for us," Gibson said before his side's captain's run on Thursday.

While it's a setback for Hunt, who has looked revitalised since leaving the Queensland Reds in the off-season, Gibson said he expected the dual international to return for next week's showdown with the defending champion Crusaders at the SCG.

"It's a very minor injury. It won't heal in two days but he should be right for next week," the coach said.

"He's really added something different to our team, that tough edge that we wanted him to bring.

"He's been going well and I'm sure after the limited layoff he'll be back ready to go."

One Waratah right to playis veteran halfback Nick Phipps, who will make his first appearance since last year's semi-final loss to the Lions after a calf injury sustained at a Wallabies camp in January.

He will start from the bench in what will likely be his last match in Canberra before heading to the English Premiership after this year's World Cup.

Despite the Waratahs playing endless Australian derbies these days, Phipps maintains clashes with the Brumbies remain the most intense of all.

"The players in this group probably hold this game in higher regard than some of the other derbies and it's very important for us to go down there and do a good job," he said.

"The last five or six years you really know where the NSW team is at depending on the result of the Brumbies away.

"It's a very hard place to go and play and you can measure how the season's going on the performance down there in Canberra."

AAP


AAP




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