Western Force coach Michael Foley says the Waratahs are by no means unbeatable despite rating them as arguably the most talented Super Rugby team in the competition.
The Waratahs will wheel out 13 Wallabies in their starting line-up for Sunday’s clash with the Force in Sydney.
Such is their depth of talent, Wallabies centre Rob Horne, rampaging prop Sekope Kepu and former Springbok Jacques Potgieter will be forced to bide their time on the bench.
In contrast, the Force are tipped by many to win the wooden spoon this year, despite the addition of exciting fullback Luke Morahan and imposing lock Wilhelm Steenkamp.
Foley coached the Waratahs in 2012 before moving to the Force.
The former Wallabies’ hooker knows the Force are rank underdogs to beat the Waratahs.
But rather than be daunted by the assignment, Foley says the match is a perfect first-up assignment for his fledgling squad.
“We’re playing one of the most-talented sides, if not the most-talented side, in the competition,” Foley said before the team flew out of Perth on Friday.
“There’s a certain excitement about that – being able to measure (up).
“You want to know exactly where you’re at.
“I think the great challenge for any team facing an opponent that is so talented is to realise that, on the day, you can actually show up and do some things that might create some problems for them.
“And (we might be able to) come away with a result that probably no one else expects you to come away with.”
Force recruit Steenkamp says he’s looking forward to facing up to former Bulls teammate Potgieter.
“I spoke to him on Wednesday night. We are going to meet each other after the game,” Steenkamp said.
“But we’re not going to be mates on the field.”
Instead of naming a firm starting XV, Foley has included 24 players in a possible starting line-up, with nine positions bracketed.
Foley says it’s a strategy he’s likely to employ for the rest of the season.