Norton-Knight earns recall
Sam Norton-Knight has been selected and will be making his first start of the season against the Cheetahs.
Last Updated: 26/03/08 10:26am
Waratahs' utility back Sam Norton-Knight has pushed Lachlan Turner from full-back to the wing for the Super 14 match against the Cheetahs in Sydney.
Norton-Knight, who finished last season for the Waratahs at fly-half will be making his first start of the season after recovering from a quadriceps strain.
With the Waratahs and coach Ewen McKenzie under pressure to play a more attacking, free-flowing style, Turner reverts to the wing in place of Alfi Mafi, who drops out of the matchday squad.
Norton-Knight had been sidelined since hurting his thigh in January while undergoing rehab from an ankle injury sustained in last year's Australia Rugby Championship (ARC).
He made his comeback just a fortnight ago playing 40 minutes of an internal trial for his club Northern Suburbs, but has no doubts that he is ready to return to Super 14.
"Since I was a young bloke I've always had a pretty good base level of fitness," said Norton-Knight.
"I'm not carrying a lot of extra weight and that hasn't changed in the three or four months I've had off so I'm pretty confident where my base level is at."
And after a frustrating five months his Waratahs comeback can't happen too soon.
"I'm very keen. I'm a frustrated spectator at the best of times," he said.
"There has been a lot of pressure on our nines and 10s and hopefully I can get in there and balance that equation out a bit."
Norton-Knight said his thigh was now 100 per cent and it won't impede his kicking game.
Australia front-rowers Benn Robinson and Tatafu Polota-Nau will also make their first start of the season, in place of prop Sekope Kepu and hooker Adam Freier respectively.
Waratahs: 15 Sam Norton-Knight, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Dan Vickerman, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Matt Dunning, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Will Caldwell, 19 Beau Robinson, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Daniel Halangahu, 22 Rob Horne.