Wallabies to unleash 'Tongan Thor' against Boks
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to his starting XV ahead of Australia’s Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Prop Taniela Tupou, who is also known as the ‘Tongan Thor’. will earn his first Test start when he runs out at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium after six appearances off the bench to open his International career.
Tupou will bookend the scrum alongside Scott Sio who is set to notch his 50th Test cap.
Captain Michael Hooper returns to the side after being a late scratching from Australia’s 19-23 defeat to Argentina a fortnight ago and he’s joined by Ned Hanigan in the back row.
In the other change, Adam Coleman re-gains his spot at lock after coming off the bench against Argentina on the Gold Coast.
Australia haven’t tasted victory in South Africa since 2011 but did earn a draw in the Republic last year, when both sides fought out a 27-all stalemate in Bloemfontein.
Saturday’s clash will be the first meeting between the two sides in Port Elizabeth since 1963, when South Africa won 22-6 to level the four-match Test series.
Australia: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Folau Faingaa, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Rob Simmons, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Jack Maddocks.
Date: Saturday, September 29
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 01.00 AEST Sunday, September 30)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)