Kerevi in, Hunt benched as Wallabies side announced for Wales clash

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    The Wallabies have named a full-strength side to take on Wales this weekend, with a number of big names returning from injury and illness.

    Bernard Foley and Will Genia are back from illness and will line up in the halves, while Samu Kerevi has been named ahead of Karmichael Hunt at inside centre.

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika indicated Kerevi’s performance against Japan had put him ahead of Hunt in the race for the No.12 jersey.

    “If Karmichael had not been injured (neck) he would have started that game (in Yokohama) but as it was Samu played really well and deserves another go,” Cheika said.

    “He is a very good player Samu. He hasn’t had it all his own way this year and I’m eager to see him fight back and try and get a spot in the team.”

    Kerevi scored two of the Wallabies nine tries last weekend, forming a dangerous partnership with Tevita Kuridrani. Kuridrani scored a hat-trick in the Wallabies’ big win.

    Hunt has been named on the reserves bench.

    Foley’s inclusion means Reece Hodge is pushed back to the wing, with Kurtley Beale lining up at fullback.

    Cheika said the decision to keep Beale at fullback was not a long-term audition for the role, but a demonstration of the great versatility of his backs.

    “We know a bit what all those guys can do in the different positions and we’ve got good options and that’s one really good thing about us,” he said.

    “Karmichael can set up at fullback or centre. Samu can play 12 or 13.

    “Hodge can pretty much play anywhere, Beale can play 12, 15 or 10 if we need him.

    “He’ll still play in that playmaker’s role predominantly, a whole lot won’t change for him.”

    “They’ll be changes in how we set up for set pieces but in attack he’ll play the same role.”

    Cheika confirmed Foley will retain goal-kicking duties despite Hodge booting nine conversions from nine attempts last week.

    “We might have Hodge kicking the line kicks, we’ll see how that unfolds,” he said. “But Foley will be kicking goals.”

    Wallabies team to play Wales
    1. Scott Sio (40 Tests)
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (79 Tests)
    3. Sekope Kepu (88 Tests)
    4. Rob Simmons (79 Tests)
    5. Adam Coleman (19 Tests)
    6. Ned Hanigan (10 Tests)
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (76 Tests)
    8. Sean McMahon (23 Tests)
    9. Will Genia (vc) (85 Tests)
    10. Bernard Foley (vc) (52 Tests)
    11. Reece Hodge (21 Tests)
    12. Samu Kerevi (15 Tests)
    13. Tevita Kuridrani (55 Tests)
    14. Marika Koroibete (5 Tests)
    15. Kurtley Beale (68 Tests)

    16. Stephen Moore (126 Tests)
    17. Tom Robertson (16 Tests)
    18. Allan Alaalatoa (20 Tests)
    19. Matt Philip (1 Test)
    20. Ben McCalman (50 Tests)
    21. Nick Phipps (59 Tests)
    22. Karmichael Hunt (3 Tests)
    23. Henry Speight (18 Tests)

    © AAP 2017