Wallabies switch it up for must-win against Wales
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallabies vice-captain Tate McDermott and fullback Andrew Kellaway have been named to start for the Wallabies against Wales in Lyon on Sunday.
Scrumhalf McDermott will partner Ben Donaldson who will start at flyhalf in the World Cup Pool C fixture at OL Stadium.
Sitting third in the Pool with one win and one loss to start their World Cup campaign, the Test is seen as a must-win by Eddie Jones’ side.
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “Every team has matches like this during a World Cup and for this young team it is this week.”
“We’ve prepared well, are focused on what we need to do, and we’ll be ready to fight on Sunday.”
An unchanged tight five, sees David Porecki captain the side for the second straight week, combining with 22-year-old Angus Bell and Test centurion James Slipper in the front row, with Nick Frost and Richie Arnold the locks.
In the loose forwards, Rob Leota starts his first Test of the year at blindside flank, with Tom Hooper shifting to openside and Rob Valetini at number eight.
Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia will continue to build on their partnership, selected to start in the midfield for the third straight week by Jones.
Kellaway’s return to the side, in what will be his first appearance in the tournament, is the only change to the back three, with Marika Koroibete named on the left wing and Mark Nawaqanitawase to start on the right edge.
Toowoomba’s Matt Faessler has been selected as the finishing hooker, while Blake Schoupp and Pone Fa’amausili are the finishing props, the latter playing his first Test of the tournament having fully recovered from a calf injury.
Matt Philip is set for more minutes as the finishing lock, with Fraser McReight swapping roles with Leota for the all-important Test.
The experience of Nic White will be called upon in his 66th Test for his country, selected as the finishing scrumhalf with 22-year-old Carter Gordon the finishing flyhalf. Last weekend’s try-scorer Suliasi Vunivalu rounds out matchday 23.
Australia: 15 Andre Kellaway; 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete; 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Tate McDermott; 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Tom Hooper; 6 Rob Leota, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Nick Frost; 3 James Slipper, 2 David Porecki (captain), 1 Angus Bell
Replacements: 16 Matt Faessler, 17 Blake Schoupp, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Nic White, 22 Carter Gordon, 23 Suliasi Vunivalu
Date: Sunday, September 24
Venue: OL Stadium, Lyon
Kick-off: 21.00 (19.00 GMT; 20.00 UK & Ireland time; 5.00 Monday, Septemver 25 AEST)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England) & Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)