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Cheika wipes slate clean to underline threat in Reds

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Can the Tahs pip the mighty Reds?

If the Waratahs win this weekend, the Reds will need to take a good, long look at themselves and all their myth-building.

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A SEVEN-YEAR apprenticeship with the Waratahs has finally paid off for Jeremy Tilse.

Tilse has won the loose-head position from Wallaby prop Benn Robinson and will be making his first career start for the Waratahs in their season-opener against the Reds on Saturday.

''It's been a good pre-season and for me it's been a long pre-season, seven years or so, but I'm looking forward to it,'' the Hunter-raised Sydney Uni prop said.

NSW training Click for more photos

NSW Waratahs training at Moore Park

The Tahs were put through their paces at Moore Park as they prepare to take on the Reds this weekend. Photo: Anthony Johnson

''I wasn't so much surprised, I've been putting in a bit of work so I think it's all coming together … I've always trained well, I think it's just a different environment. Everyone's performing well and everyone's got their chance to put their best foot forward.''

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika elevated Tilse to the front row alongside Wallabies regulars Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu, leaving Robinson on the forward-heavy bench. He insisted the selection bombshell was all about recognising Tilse's hard work and had little to do with Robinson's fitness or form.

''It's not a bad form issue, [Robinson's] only played 50 minutes of a trial match,'' Cheika said.

''I suppose when you look at a player you've got to look at what he can do, what his potential is, what he is doing and maybe what he's done in the past from an experience point of view. I reckon that Tilse has really earnt that and I think Benn is going to have a big part to play in the game as well. So I wouldn't be hanging anyone out to dry just yet.''

It is clear the Waratahs are expecting a tough physical confrontation. For all the talk of Israel Folau's impact at fullback and the Reds' ''X-factor'' backs, Cheika is deploying all the grunt available to him, including Robinson, prop Paddy Ryan, hooker John Ulugia, blindside Mitchell Chapman and No.8 Lopeti Timani.

''They've obviously got a lot of X-factor players who can make something out of nothing and so keeping them under pressure is important and we've got to make sure we can work hard,'' he said.

''[We have to] work hard to get off the ground and get back into the line to make sure that they can't use those threats.''

Young winger Tom Kingston was another beneficiary of Cheika's ''clean slate'' policy, being selected to start in combination with debutant fullback Israel Folau and Test winger Drew Mitchell.

Kingston worked well in combination with Folau during trial matches and was selected for pure pace and work rate off the ball, Cheika said.

''The three of them together … allows me to have maybe one out-and-out flyer who can have a go for the line, pin his ears back every time he gets the ball; one who maybe has the experience to play in and out of both situations, can play at fullback as well as the wing … and then [Folau] is a very dangerous player with the ball and a very good defensive player,'' he said.

''Any breaks - and we know Queensland will make something because we know they're very dangerous - we want to be able to manage it out in the back field even when they do get through our front line.''

Waratahs: Israel Folau, Tom Kingston, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tom Carter, Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (c), Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Jeremy Tilse. Reserves: John Ulugia, Benn Robinson, Mitchell Chapman, Lopeti Timani, David Hickey, Grayson Hart, Ben Volavola.

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Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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