Houston in line for Australia debut

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 14:57
Large leroy houston australia train 800

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Australia back row forward Leroy Houston could make his Test debut off the bench after securing the last spot among the replacements for the Rugby Championship finale against Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday.

Houston, who plays his club rugby for English Premiership side Bath, secured his place on the bench after Australia coach Michael Cheika opted for a 6-2 split between forwards and backs.  

The 29-year-old's inclusion means Sefa Naivalu has been omitted from the extended bench named on Thursday, with prop Tom Robertson switching to loosehead prop at the expense of veteran James Slipper.

Houston, playing for southwest side Bath after the Queensland Reds allowed him to join on a medical loan, is in line to become the 901st Wallaby and Australia's 11th debutant of 2016.

If Houston does get on the field at Twickenham, it will end a long wait for international recognition, with the loose forward first named in the Wallaby squad for the 2005 tour of Europe by then-coach Eddie Jones.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Scott Fardy, 21 Leroy Houston, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.

Date: Saturday, October 8
Venue: Twickenham, England
Kick-off: 18.30 (15.30 Argentinean time; 05.30 AEDT, Sunday, October 9)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Agence France-Presse

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