Home Castle Lager Rugby Championship 2017 Strong Aussie side to take on Boks

Strong Aussie side to take on Boks

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Tevita Kuridrani will run out for his 50th Test for the Wallabies when they face the Springboks at the nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday.

Kuridrani has retained the number 13 jersey and will, once again, line up in midfield with Kurtley Beale in this must-win Test for the Wallabies.

Head coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to the squad who were narrowly defeated by New Zealand in Dunedin two weeks ago.

With the withdrawal of first-choice hooker Stephen Moore, who stayed in Brisbane for the birth of his third child, the door opened for Rebels rookie Jordan Uelese’s potential debut, who despite his limited game time at the elite level starts starts on the replacements bench.

Tatafu Polota-Nau will take the number two jersey in one of three changes to the starting pack, with Sekope Kepu to start at tighthead prop and Adam Coleman returning from injury to partner Rory Arnold in the second row.

Coleman was an 11th-hour withdrawal from the Wallabies’ second Bledisloe Cup Test with a shoulder injury, but has shaken that off in the fortnight since.

His Force team-mate Dane Haylett-Petty was ruled out earlier on Thursday, with the wing set to undergo surgery on a torn bicep muscle, putting him out for the rest of the 2017 season.

Reece Hodge will replace Haylett-Petty in the starting side, his first start of the year at Test level.

Samu Kerevi has earned a reprieve onto the bench after being dropped for the second Bledisloe Test in Dunedin, having played for Brisbane City in the opening round of the NRC last weekend.

Flanker Jack Dempsey is in line to add to his one June appearance, named on the bench in favour of Lopeti Timani for this weekend’s South African challenge.

Uelese, 20, bolted into the Wallabies squad last month and has not put a foot wrong since bringing his hulking frame into the Test landscape, impressing his team-mates and coaches alike.

The Melbourne youngster has played three games for the Rebels, with 16, five and seven minutes in those outings, as well as starring in the U20s World Championship campaign.

He has played just 28 minutes of Super Rugby but Rebels rookie Jordan Uelese is in line to be the latest Wallabies debutant, named in Australia’s 23 to take on the Springboks.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Curtis Rona

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Their pack is not far off the Boks with an unbalanced loose-trio… LO’s should be interesting too with Tatafu being just average with his throw’s but they have two huge locks and another great LO option in Hanigan where the Bok’s only have two jumpers until JLDP comes on.

    Bok’s set pieces are going to be vital… because that back three tower over the Boks and their strike runners are way bigger and better.

    Bookies have got this about right Aus $1.75 -1 Boks $2.2-1

    Going to be interesting to see what the Force fans will be like… but let’s face it… this is the first team ranked higher than 8th the Boks are playing and another level altogether.

  2. Talking about throwing Uelese into the mix… only three games in Super Rugby and pretty sure they were off the bench.

    I’ve watched him come through Junior ranks and debut for Rebel Rising as an 18yr… even then he was around 189cm and 118kgs and a wrecking ball… but this is a huge step-up with Tatafu being a bit injury prone.

  3. @bryce_in_oz: France were ranked 6th before the first test between the 2 sides. I know it means little as it was in essence a development team we played against, but we have played a team ranked higher than 8, even if it is only on paper.

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