The Waratahs kick off this weeks round of Super Rugby with a game this Friday afternoon against the enigmatic Auckland Blues. Both teams are banking on big inclusions with the Tahs hopeful of starting Kurtley Beale whilst the Blues welcome back Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu.
Although the Blues sit 10th on the ladder, they are a team that shouldn't be underestimated, especially at home. They have a young squad which can put out erratic performances. At their best they are lethal, although they do struggle with consistency.
As always we take 5 things that should be key to this match:
1. Eden Park: A graveyard for Australian rugby both internationally and in Super Rugby. If the Tahs are any chance they need to block out the crowd and focus on the job at hand. If the Blues get up early, the crowd will smell blood and they can truly be a "16th man."
2. Piri Weepu: The New Zealand great returns this week after a month of following heart surgery. You can expect an emotional performance from him and his team.
3. Kurtley Beale: There are some whispers that he may not play, if this is the case I can't see the Tahs winning. He is that important. His centre battle with Nonu should be intriguing, brains vs brawn and he should be given a few opportunities to catch Nonu flat-footed.
4. Will Skelton: The big man is getting better every week. The Blues don't have the worlds biggest forward pack and he could cause them some problems whilst getting the ball over the advantage line a lot.
5. Accuracy: I have a feeling that this will be a very close game. Whoever kicks most accurately will win.
What do you think will be the key to a tahs victory? Let us know in the comments.