SYDNEY - Wallabies scrumhalf Nick Phipps is set to make his first Super Rugby appearance of the season after being named on the New South Wales Waratahs bench for Saturday's clash against the Queensland Reds in Sydney.
Phipps, who made his return from a pre-season calf injury in the Shute Shield for Sydney University last weekend, has had a frustrating start to the year, blighted with several setbacks.
The 29-year-old is expected to get some game-time at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the in-form Waratahs target a fourth straight win.
"It's been a long hard road for him. He's had 6-8 weeks of nearly being there," Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson told reporters.
"He's finally passed fit -- he's had a good trot last week with Sydney Uni and I think he's ready."
Phipps replaces Mitch Short on the bench as the only change to the squad from last weekend's bonus-point 50-29 win over the Sunwolves in Tokyo, an attacking display that Gibson felt had left room for plenty of improvement.
"Defensively we're still conceding far too many tries, particularly putting a lot of pressure on ourselves through our own poor ball control at times, and that's something we talked about," Gibson added.
"We're steeling ourselves for what's going to be a really physical encounter."