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Waratahs boosted by Folau’s return

Rugby

New South Wales Waratahs will unleash try-scoring machine Israel Folau against the Western Force in their Super Rugby clash in Perth on Saturday following the fullback's return from a throat injury.

Eight tries in four matches put Folau in a strong position to go for the single season Super Rugby record of 15 - jointly held by Joe Roff (1997) and Rico Gear (2005) - before a bruised throat sidelined the 25-year-old for two rounds.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Israel Folau of the Waratahs evades the tackle of Tom Kingston of the Rebels during the round six Super Rugby match between the Waratahs and the Rebels at Allianz Stadium on March 21, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Wallaby Kurtley Beale, who played in the number 15 jersey in Folau's absence, returns to the inside centre position where he was so effective in unleashing the former rugby league international before the injury.

Cam Crawford, who scored an impressive eight tries in seven games last season before suffering a shoulder injury that needed surgery, replaces left winger Peter Betham, who is nursing a broken foot.

The Waratahs will arrive in Perth tired after their tour of South Africa but buoyed by their 22-11 win over the Stormers in Cape Town last week.

They face a resurgent Force side, who beat the Queensland Reds 32-29 in Brisbane last weekend to register four straight wins for the first time in the team's history. – Reuters

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