Wallabies Dean Mumm and Luke Burgess will come off the bench when Sydney University defend their Shute Shield title against Randwick at Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Coaches Damien Hill and Greg Mumm have stuck with the troops who have carried them the season decider, with the only changes in recent weeks being Jacob Taylor for unlucky fullback Nathan Trist, who was injured in the final competition round, and hooker Nathan Charles, who will be in the starting XV on Sunday, with Ben Roberts on the bench.
Taylor’s move to fullback has provided Australian Under 20 representative Peter Betham a berth on the wing.
One of the key battles in the 2009 decider will be at the scrum where four Wallabies will be in the starting line-ups – flanker Phil Waugh for Sydney University and number eight Stephen Hoiles, second-rower Mark Chisholm and prop Sekope Kepu for the Wicks. The battle between young Sydney University tighthead Pat Ryan and Kepu will be crucial.
The grand final continues a keen rivalry between the two teams over the past decade. Randwick won the 2000 title 34-33 in controversial circumstances. The Students led 33-29 until the final minute when they were penalised at the ruck. The Wicks found touch five metres out and scored from the lineout.
Randwick defeated Sydney University 32-25 in the 2003 Shute Shield decider, but the Students had some revenge when they won the 2005 Tooheys Cup grand final 16-10 over the Wicks.
The real revenge came last year when Sydney university triumphed 45-20.
Sydney University will be pushing for a fifth successive title on Sunday.
Having won the 2009 minor premiership, Sydney University earned the right to defend their Shute Shield title with a 37-13 win over Eastwood in their elimination final at Concord Oval. Randwick won their way through with a 53-32 disposal of Gordon at Woollahra Oval.
The Students have won the past two Shute Shield premierships following wins in the Tooheys Cup grand finals in 2005 and 2006 when the Shield was contested in the first half of the season and the Cup in the second half.
And number eight Tim Davidson will be captaining the side for a fifth successive title.
Sydney University Third Grade advanced to a grand final showdown with Gordon when they defeated Warringah 27-13 in their elimination final,
Supporters should note, the Third Grade grand final is scheduled to commence at 11.40am, while First Grade kicks off at 3pm.
Colts put three titles on the line
Go west young man – that is the cry for Sydney University Football Club supporters on Saturday when the club’s three Colts teams defend their titles at Concord Oval.
Colts 3 will start the day at 11.50am when they take on Gordon in the 2009 decider. The team will be shooting for a third successive title having won premierships in 2007 and 2008.
Colts 2 will be playing for a fourth successive title when they take on Eastern Suburbs, with a scheduled starting time of 1.15pm.
And Colts 1 will be chasing a third successive title when they take on Southern Districts at 3pm.
The bad news for Sydney University Colts 1 is they have lost centre Michael Hodge for the season decider, while the good news for Southern Districts is NSWRU has given Waratah centre Rob Horne special dispensation to turn out for the grand final. He has played two senior games for the club during 2009.
Despite facing the many hurdles that keep being placed in their way, Sydney University Colts have won the Colts Club Championship in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.