Wallabies team for Bledisloe 3: Cheika makes one change for New Zealand clash

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

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    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted for consistency in his Wallabies side to face New Zealand in the third and final Bledisloe Cup clash of the year, making just one forced change to the side which accounted for Argentina two weeks ago.

    Rob Simmons has been drafted into the back row in the starting XV in place of the injured Izack Rodda, after the young Queensland lock opted to have surgery on his shoulder earlier in the week.

    Simmons’ promotion to the run-on side has freed up a place on the bench, which has been taken by Waratahs youngster Ned Hanigan.

    Aside from the forced swap in the back row and bench, the rest of Cheika’s match-day 23 remains unchanged from the Wallabies outfit which finished their Rugby Championship campaign off with a 37-20 win over the Pumas in Argentina.

    Simmons will partner fellow lock Adam Coleman behind a front row of Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu, while skipper Michael Hooper will be joined once again by Jack Dempsey and Sean McMahon in the back row.

    In the backs, vice-captains Will Genia and Bernard Foley will direct the side from the halves, with Kurtley Beale and Tevita Kuridrani selected in the centres. Reece Hodge, who was one of the standouts in the Wallabies’ last match against Argentina, has been picked on the wing alongside Marika Koroibete, while Israel Folau will once again slot in at fullback.

    The match in Brisbane will be a momentous one for Stephen Moore, with the veteran hooker set to play his final Test on Australian soil in front of his home Brisbane crowd against the All Blacks. Moore’s 125th Test appearance will see him become the ninth most-capped Test player of all time.

    The match will also be a notable due to the jerseys worn by the Wallabies; the side will become the first national team in Australian sport to wear an indigenous jersey when they run out on Saturday night.

    The Wallabies, who haven’t beaten New Zealand since 2015, have as good an opportunity to grab a victory against New Zealand as they are likely to get anytime soon, with the All Blacks missing a number of key players for the Brisbane Test.

    Star playmaker Beauden Barrett, who scored the game-winning try in the thrilling Bledisloe 2 encounter earlier in the year, is out of Saturday night’s match with concussion symptoms, and locks Brodie Retallick and Luke Romano are both unavailable for selection.

    Wallabies team to face New Zealand in Bledisloe 3

    1. Scott Sio (38 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (77 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (86 Tests)
    4. Rob Simmons (77 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (17 Tests)
    6. Jack Dempsey (5 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (74 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (21 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (vc) (84 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (vc) (51 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (19 Tests)
    12. Kurtley Beale (66 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (53 Tests)
    14. Marika Koroibete (3 Tests)
    15. Israel Folau (61 Tests)

    Reserves
    16. Stephen Moore (124 Tests)
    17. Tom Robertson (14 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (18 Tests)
    19. Lukhan Tui (2 Tests)
    20. Ned Hanigan (8 Tests)
    21. Nick Phipps (57 Tests)
    22. Samu Kerevi (13 Tests)
    23. Henry Speight (17 Tests)

    In: Ned Hanigan
    Out: Izack Rodda (injured)

    Kick-off on Saturday night is scheduled for 8:05pm (AEDT, 7:05pm local time), and you’ll be able to catch live coverage and highlights of the match right here on The Roar.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

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