By Jack Mcilroy Reid
Sydney University has named three Waratahs captains past and present in its starting XV for this Saturday's Magners Shute Shield Round 13 clash with Northern Suburbs (1pm).
Joining fellow Students Pat McCutcheon and Tom Carter – who both led the Tahs last season – is current NSW skipper Dave Dennis, making his first club outing of the season. The trio will play under the leadership of Uni captain Tom Boidin.
"This weekend is a great opportunity to get back to where it all started for me," said Dennis, who has recovered from a leg laceration suffered in the Tahs' win over reigning Super Rugby champions the Chiefs last month.
"I'm excited to play with Tom Carter who has been there a long time and Pat McCutcheon who is a great leader, as well as some of the younger guys that have been brought through."
Carter and McCutcheon both captained the Waratahs on separate occasions last season and the current captain says he's excited at the chance to play with his club colleagues for their game against a Norths outfit that includes fellow Tah Cam Crawford.
"I have kept up to date with Uni's progress this season and have been really impressed with some of the performances from the young players that they have brought through, James Dargaville and Henry Clunies-Ross on the wings in particular. We have a great leader in the form of Tom Boidin and everything is pointing towards a bright future."
Dennis is keen not to let a three-week international break slow down him down. "It was important for me not to go (more than) three weeks without playing any rugby, I need to get some running in my legs and to get some contact so I can go into the Brumbies game as prepared as possible. I'm looking forward to playing on Saturday and hopefully playing well."
With the Waratahs in strong form heading towards the business end of the season and the Students looking likely to cement a finals spot, Dennis is optimistic about both teams' prospects.
"My primary focus currently is on the getting the Waratahs to Super Rugby finals but it's great to be a part of such a successful club side and I have confidence in the young side we have at Uni to get us to the point where I can then get involved. We've had good success in finals over the past few years and I'm looking forward to being involved again should we get that far."
Dennis is one of three changes to the Sydney University side that beat Parramatta last weekend with Mike Tyler starting ahead of Jeremy Tilse and Sam Talakai coming in for Paddy Ryan in the front row. Norths will be looking to get their fourth win of the campaign and put some daylight between themselves and the bottom of the table with a win over the reigning champions. Jack Grant and Jac Cameron come into the side that lost to Eastwood in Round 12.
Northern Suburbs v Sydney University @ North Sydney Oval, Saturday June 21 (1pm)
Northern Suburbs: 1. Kevin McNamara, 2. Will Weeks, 3. Nick Lah (c), 4. Sev Domoni, 5. Ben Matwijow, 6. James Cunningham, 7. Will Miller, 8. Michael Wells, 9. Christian Cage, 10. Jack Grant, 11. Richard Woolf, 12. Michael Freeman, 13. Jac Cameron, 14. Tom Redden, 15. Cam Crawford.
Sydney University: 1. Mike Tyler, 2. Tolu Latu, 3. Sam Talakai, 4. Tom Boidin (c), 5. David Dennis, 6. James Nonu-Carling, 7.David Hickey, 8. Pat McCutcheon, 9. Jake Gordon, 10. Daniel Kelly, 11. Henry Clunies-Ross, 12. Tom Carter, 13. Chris Ingate, 14.James Dargaville, 15. Jack Macklin.
Referee: Anthony Moyes
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