Wallabies name team to face South Africa: Cheika rings the changes for Springboks clash

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

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    Michael Cheika has named his team to play the Springboks in Perth this Saturday, making a number of changes to the side that lost a heartbreaker to the All Blacks two weeks ago.

    The big selection news comes in the backline, with Dane Haylett-Petty ruled out for the rest of the year with a bicep injury. The Force winger missed the first Rugby Championship game against the All Blacks in Sydney with the injury before returning for Bledisloe 2, but his decision to opt for surgery will see him on the sidelines for the next three months.

    Melbourne Rebels utility back Reece Hodge has been named in Haylett-Petty’s place on the wing, linking up with fullback Israel Folau and winger Henry Speight in the back three.

    Stephen Moore is another forced omission from the side. The veteran hooker will miss the game against South Africa for the birth of his third child, allowing Tatafu Polota-Nau to make his way into the run-on side. Melbourne Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese is in line to make his Test debut from the bench.

    Polota-Nau will partner with Sekope Kepu and Scott Sio in the front row, Kepu making his way into the starting side in a straight swap with Allan Alaalatoa.

    Adam Coleman will make his return to the team after missing Bledisloe 2 with injury, pushing veteran lock Rob Simmons back to the bench and Izack Rodda out of the squad. Coleman will join Rory Arnold in the second row, while skipper Michael Hooper, Ned Hanigan and Sean McMahon form an unchanged back row.

    Samu Kerevi has been included in the reserves after being dropped for the match in Dunedin, while back-rower Jack Dempsey’s inclusion ahead of Lopeti Timani rounds out the changes to the side.

    Aside from Hodge’s inclusion, Cheika has made no changes to the starting backline from Bledisloe 2. Vice-captains Will Genia and Bernard Foley will partner up in the halves, while Kurtley Beale and Tevita Kuridrani, who is set to earn his 50th Wallabies cap, will start in the centres.

    The Wallabies will be hoping to get their first win of the Rugby Championship against the Springboks having lost both Bledisloe Cup games against the All Blacks.

    South Africa, on the other hand, actually enter the match on top of the Rugby Championship following two wins over Argentina’s Pumas, and a victory against the Wallabies will see them put them in the box seat for a top-two finish in this year’s tournament.

    Wallabies team to play South Africa

    1. Scott Sio (34 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (73 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (82 Tests)
    4. Rory Arnold (14 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (13 Tests)
    6. Ned Hanigan (5 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (70 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (17 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (80 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (47 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (15 Tests)
    12. Kurtley Beale (62 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (49 Tests)
    14. Henry Speight (14 Tests)
    15. Israel Folau (57 Tests)

    Reserves
    16. Jordan Uelese (Debut)
    17. Tom Robertson (11 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (14 Tests)
    19. Rob Simmons (73 Tests)
    20. Jack Dempsey (1 Test)
    21. Nick Phipps (53 Tests)
    22. Samu Kerevi (9 Tests)
    23. Curtis Rona (1 Test)

    Changes
    Ins: Samu Kerevi, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Jordan Uelese.

    Outs: Dane Haylett-Petty (injured – biceps), Izack Rodda (omitted), Lopeti Timani (omitted), Stephen Moore (baby).

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.