The battle for positions at the Waratahs is taking the young side to the next level as they push for finals football.
Darren Coleman's men will be looking for victory over fellow finals hopefuls Western Force to cement fifth position heading into Super Round.
Their incredible transformation has come with several stars on the sidelines, with Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper returning a fortnight ago against the Drua, joined by Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco
He is set to make his first start of 2022, joined by Waratahs captain Jake Gordon and Will Harrison, with standout flyhalf Ben Donaldson likely to be saved for the Chiefs next week.
This comes with the likes of Wallaby Lachie Swinton still on the sidelines, with the potential for Ned Hanigan to re-join towards the end of the season.
It leaves the coaching staff with several selection battles across the park, something the Waratahs are embracing after their tough 2021.
“Even Darren said this morning to the team, it is getting harder and harder to pick the team because you have guys who have been given opportunities and they’ve taken them. It is a good position to be in, that’s for sure,” assistant coach Chris Whitaker said.
"Whoever steps up whatever position, they’re going to be comfortable for whoever takes that spot so pushing each other is only a good thing," flanker Charlie Gamble added.
Gamble and the Waratahs understand the importance of getting the job done in Perth on Saturday, conceding it's a must-win if they want to be playing finals.
“The Force are going to around that finals fight with us so if we can’t get this done, we don’t really deserve to be there...they were a bit unlucky to come away with the loss so they’ll be itching to get one back this week over us," he said.
“We went into (the past match-up) at half-time with a pretty big lead and they didn’t give up, they brought some big, strong players off the bench and in the end we only won by 7-8 points.
“For us, we’ve got to make sure we keep the pressure on for the full 80 and don’t let off the pedal.”