Wycliff Palu has been withdrawn from the Waratahs' team for Saturday's Super Rugby round three clash against the Highlanders in Dunedin.
The influential No.8 experienced some lower leg tightness earlier in the week which was further hindered by Thursday's travel disruption. Flight cancellations meant the team was forced to endure an 11 hour journey, starting with a five hour delay in leaving Sydney Airport and ending with their journey to Dunedin rerouting via Auckland.
As a result, head coach Michael Foley and the Waratahs medical team have decided not to risk Palu, instead replacing him at the back of the scrum with Manly's Tevita Metuisela.
Metuisela travelled with the team as the 23rd man and comes into the starting side as a straight swap for Palu. The change is the second to the original line up and comes after breakaway Chris Alcock was replaced on the bench earlier in the week by Jono Jenkins after the former failed to recover from a head knock sustained in last week's match in time to travel to New Zealand.
Waratahs: 15 Bernard Foley, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Daniel Halangahu (captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Tevita Metuisela, 7 Pat McCutcheon, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Paddy Ryan, 18 Lopeti Timani, 19 Jono Jenkins, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Tom Carter, 22 Brackin Karauria-Henry.
Date: Saturday, March 10
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT)
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Kane McBride (New Zealand)
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