Playmaker Kurtley Beale is the first high profile Wallaby to be managed at the start of the Super Rugby season, with veteran recruits Karmichael Hunt and Adam Ashley-Cooper forming a new NSW Waratahs centre combination for their opening round game.
Former Queenslander Hunt was selected in Beale's usual spot in the No.12 shirt, with Ashley-Cooper outside him at centre for Saturday's home game with the Hurricanes at Sydney's Brookvale Oval.
Coach Daryl Gibson wasn't concerned the new centre pairing had played together for just a few minutes in the trials.
"Given the strategy we've gone into starting the season with Kurtley Beale getting that extra week for rotation, it's quite manageable," Gibson said.
"I think Karmichael and AAC taking (centre) positions will be a good thing.
"I believe it brings a lot of experience and a lot of defensive quality about it."
Other than Beale's absence there were no major surprises in the starting side.
Several Wallabies stars including captain Michael Hooper, key backs Bernard Foley and Israel Folau and prop Sekope Kepu were named despite not having played any minutes in the pre-season trial matches.
Gibson chose an all-Wallabies back row, with Jack Dempsey named at No.8 for his first Super game since 2017.
Dempsey made his name at blindside flanker before suffering an injury which sidelined for much of 2018, but Ned Hanigan was chosen there for Saturday alongside openside flanker Hooper.
"His (Dempsey's) preference is to play 6, but with Ned Hanigan in our side, it's about trying to get both of them on the field at the same time, " Gibson said
Among those unavailable due to injury were prop Tom Roberton, locks Tom Staniforth and Le Roux Roets and halfback Nick Phipps.
With Robertson not expected back from his ACL knee injury until April Harry Johnson-Holmes will start in the front row while props Rory O'Connor and Chris Talakai are poised for their Super Rugby debuts off the bench.
Uncapped back-rower Lachlan Swinton is the other newcomer.
"I think the scrum is going to be really challenged this year around that depth," Gibson admitted.
Waratahs: Israel Folau, Alex Newsome, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Karmichael Hunt, Curtis Rona, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper (capt), Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Jed Holloway, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Res: Tolu Latu, Rory O'Connor, Chris Talakai, Lachlan Swinton, Will Miller, Mitch Short, Mack Mason, Cam Clark.