Israel Folau will be making his return to Super Rugby for the Waratahs against the Blues in Sydney on Saturday.

It will be the first time Folau will feature for the New South Wales side since causing an uproar over his controversial comments about homosexuality.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said the four weeks away would have been good for the Wallabies star and looked forward to having him back in action.

"We've done very well without him but it's great to have him back," Gibson told reporters.


"He brings a lot [and] a different attacking dimension to us. That four weeks he's been away, it's been a good opportunity for him to get his body right and mind back into footy."

Meanwhile, experienced trio Augustine Pulu, Patrick Tuipulotu and Jerome Kaino are back in the Blues' starting line-up for the clash on Saturday.

The return of the trio is positive news for the Blues, with Pulu having played 30 minutes off the bench last week, while Tuipulotu missed the game with illness. Kaino returns after a hamstring strain that side-lined him for the past three games.

"We have some key players starting to slowly return over the next couple of weeks but it is welcome news to have these three players back, not just with their rugby ability but especially their experience," said coach Tana Umaga.

Stephen Perofeta retains his place at No10 against the Waratahs, with Caleb Clarke making his Blues debut on the left wing. Rieko Ioane and Orbyn Leger are again paired in the midfield.

Jerome Kaino of the Blues on the charge. Photosport
Jerome Kaino of the Blues on the charge. Photosport

Tumua Manu, who has scored in each of his two games, moves to the right wing to allow for the selection Clarke, son of Blues great Eroni, who has recovered from appendicitis which ruled him out of the All Black sevens team at the Commonwealth Games.

All Black Matt Duffie retains his spot at fullback after performing well there in the disappointing defeat to the Jaguares at Eden Park last weekend.

"It is back to the basics again for us," Umaga said. "We need to win our set piece and the collision, hold our discipline, play positively with patience with some go-forward ball, communicate well and defend to plan," said Umaga.


"We are working hard. Each week we do some things well but one or two things let us down. We know this is a tough test with our young and inexperienced team, but we are ready to put a performance together."

Despite concerns about the surface, the match will be played at Brookvale Oval as the Waratahs' home ground of Alliance Stadium unavailable. The game kicks off at 9.45pm on Saturday.


15. Matt Duffie, 14. Tumua Manu, 13. Orbyn Leger, 12. Rieko Ioane, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 9. Augustine Pulu ©; 8. Akira Ioane, 7. Dalton Papalii, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 3. Sione Mafileo, 2. James Parsons, 1. Ross Wright.

Reserves: Matt Moulds, Pauliasi Manu, Mike Tamoaieta, Ben Nee-Nee or Lyndon Dunshea, Murphy Taramai, Jonathan Ruru, Dan Kirkpatrick, Terrence Hepetema.


15. Israel Folau, 14. Cam Clark, 13. Lalakai Foketi, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Jake Gordon, 8. Michael Wells, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Will Miller, 5. Rob Simmons, 4. Ned Hanigan, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Damien Fitzpatrick, 1. Tom Robertson.

Reserves: Hugh Roach, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Tom Staniforth, Jed Holloway, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona, Bryce Hegarty.