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

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar 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)

    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)

    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.

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    The Crowd Says (203)

    • Roar Guru

      September 7th 2017 @ 4:06pm
      Machooka said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

      Pretty much as expected.

      … gotta say Eds I love the OUT player names; Stephen Moore (baby) 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        September 7th 2017 @ 4:12pm
        Adam said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

        He was barely showing!!

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2017 @ 12:19pm
          Timbo (L) said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

          Although the Bald head has some resemblance.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 6:08pm
        Noodles said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

        Tight five is good. I’d have liked to see Simmons tried at 6 for height and weight. I think we will miss DHP, but overall this is the selection to test our standards and continuiity. Should be a big improvement in controlled possession and some better phases in the backs.

        • Roar Guru

          September 7th 2017 @ 6:26pm
          Machooka said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

          Good point about Simmons at 6 Noodles… if Ned Hanigan gets found out early then Simmons is an option. But in saying that I think Cheika has Dempsey in mind.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 8:01pm
            Noodles said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

            Yep. Cheika wants mobility that much is obvious. I just wish we had one big backrower, for the weight and the lineout.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 8:19pm
            Connor33 said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

            I’d prefer Simmons coming on for a period of time for Hanigan to see how that works.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 8:56pm
              Rt said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

              In his last game for qld Simmons played 6 and I thought it was the best I’d seen him play since 2015

            • September 8th 2017 @ 5:56am
              Flyinghori1 said | September 8th 2017 @ 5:56am | ! Report

              What’s happened to Fardy, best 6 around I Aussie I reckon

              • September 9th 2017 @ 9:01am
                Tez said | September 9th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

                Fardy is no longer available for the Wallabies

          • September 7th 2017 @ 8:24pm
            cuw said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

            not many 4/6 guys who are good at test level.

            club and provincial and county level yes.

            looking around u will have Itoje England , Fifita NZ, Desio argies , and maybe fardy .

            cant think of any others who do the trick as a routine.

            of course one offs are many like when guys like Read and Kaino packed in 2nd row just becoz of the situation.

            also dont forget the saffa experiment with PSDT at 6 had a still birth ….

            • Roar Rookie

              September 8th 2017 @ 2:46pm
              Die hard said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              Hansen wanted that from Luatua. Also considers Barrett as a possible 6/8. I agree it is a tough role but carries big benefits for a team.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 9:35pm
            Worlds Biggest said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

            Reckon your right there Chookman, Demo is lively but like Ned needs to put on some muscle. The Boks will really bring the heat up front. Hopefully TPN and Coleman can add some starch. Timani seems to be in Cheika’s dog house. Get stuck in Wallas.

          • September 9th 2017 @ 9:35am
            Tez said | September 9th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

            I would like to see Dempsey developed as an 8 ….. he has size, power, aggression, hits hard, is mobile and supports the ball runners ….. Timani and Higginbotham are both yesterdays men, they are lazy and do not play for the team …. Naisirani is not yet qualified ….. we need to develop a quality 8 or two

    • Roar Pro

      September 7th 2017 @ 4:11pm
      Crazy Horse said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

      Not a lot for Force fans to get excited about in that team.

      • Roar Guru

        September 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm
        Machooka said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

        No Crazy… not now that DHP is out with injury, but Coleman is a force to be reckoned with and crucial to Wallaby hopes of winning!

        • September 7th 2017 @ 7:02pm
          Ex force fan said | September 7th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

          Wish Coleman and Rona can find a reason not to play so that it can be the Swamp Wallabies or Stinkers and the Force fans do not have to be conflicted when they boo the Stinkers and the organisation they represent.

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm
            Machooka said | September 7th 2017 @ 7:04pm | ! Report

            No you don’t… not really eh?

    • September 7th 2017 @ 4:12pm
      JohnB said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

      Timani dropped? If so and not injured makes Hanigan still running on look a little fortunate.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 7th 2017 @ 4:31pm
        Paul D said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

        Well if you saw Timani’s pedestrian showing on the weekend in Perth you’d be dropping him too.

        Having said that though I was disappointed not to see Hanigan and especially Dempsey return to NRC. The latter could really use some match fitness if he’s going to be selected.

        • Roar Guru

          September 7th 2017 @ 4:41pm
          Train Without A Station said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

          Unfair to criticize a test player though because he isn’t pumped to dominate when he plays 2 levels below after being dropped in for the game.

          That said, his 2017 season has been below standard in general.

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 5:16pm
            PeterK said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

            sure but no worse than Hanigan or the majority of aust players this season.

          • Roar Rookie

            September 7th 2017 @ 5:33pm
            Die hard said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

            Unfair possibly but contrast it to the attitude of Julian Savea who is rediscovering his love of the game with Wellington. Nothing worse than a chip on your shoulder except when it motivates you to better things.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 5:44pm
            MitchO said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

            I reckon Timani has shown enough every test match he’s played though TWAS. Horses for course is real.’

            Hopefully it is some form of rational considered decision where Cheika is very confident that Dempsey will provide enough muscle. Wikipedia has him at 108kg.

            I don’t mind Hodge trying out on the wing. I see him as a straight swap for DHP and frankly I see more upside to Hodge. If nothing else we know he can fake it as a test match 12

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 5:44pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

            Enthusiasm goes a long way to explain a player’s commitment.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 6:05pm
              Paul D said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

              Agree. His brother suffered from bouts of laziness too. And Timani was dumped from the Waratahs for a poor attitude. If he’s too much of a sook to put in a decent effort for the Rising in front of his national coach, then bugger him.

              • Roar Guru

                September 7th 2017 @ 6:18pm
                PeterK said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                rather have someone who actual performs at test level than someone who tries hard.

                i.e Higgs and Timani preferred over Hanigan who works hard and tires but is ineffectual.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 6:43pm
                Daveski said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

                Ah yes Peter…. but does Timani perform at test level? Jury out on that one I’d say. It’s not enough to look the part.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 9:03pm
                Rhys Bosley said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

                Higgs doesn’t perform at test level and Cheika was right to drop him.

                I rewatched the entire Scotland test to compare him and Hannigan, Higgs just trotted to each breakdown without any urgency and mostly got there half a second late, then ineffectivly plowed into the opposition back. Even when he did get there on time his cleanout technique was lousy and he gave away penalties. You would think a senior player who has been given a lifeline to prove himself by the coach would get his act together, but he didn’t so too bad.

                By comparison Hannigan ran a lot harder and got his shoulder low. He got beaten on experience a couple of times towards the end, but he is young so has an excuse. He is no Scott Fardy yet and shouldn’t own the 6 jersey, but he is a far better prospect than Higgs.

              • September 7th 2017 @ 8:59pm
                Fionn said | September 7th 2017 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

                Daveski, you’re hardly a neutral observer. You praise everything Cheika does, and always defend the terrible Waratahs that he selects.

                Timani has done well almost every chance he has been given at test level. The jury isn’t out except for people desperate to defend Cheika.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm
                timber said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Timani is overrated, I haven’t seen him play consistently well at super level let alone test level. Yet for some reason, 90% of fans demand his inclusion as if it’s a given – the rugby wunderkind cult in full force.
                His physique flatters to deceive and Cheika has got it right on this occasion, Timani simply isn’t very good.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 3:06pm
                Fionn said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

                Weird logic, timber, because we’re not comparing Timani to a really good player like Jerome Kaino, are we? We’re comparing him to Ned Flanders, who is just awful at international level, whereas Timani has done alright.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 4:02pm
                MitchO said | September 8th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                If Timani had had both the minutes and the consistency of selection that Hanigan has enjoyed we’d know where we stood with him. I think he has done okay so far and if given a chance to settle might be able to show some progress. Ripping him in and out is not good for him. Play him or don’t.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 8:17pm
                timber said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

                I’m pointing out the disconnect between the wunderkind cult and reality.
                Timani isn’t obviously better than Hanigan, he may be a bit better but the way people go on here you’d think Timani is Kaino.
                Timani hasn’t had the chance to fail miserably so he becomes the focal point for the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ mentality.
                However, analysis of his Super and NRC performances shows there’s a reason why he’s been given little chance at test level – he’s never impressed at lower levels. His limited chances at test level tend to confirm the analysis is correct.
                Granted, Hanigan is in a similar boat but the derision Hanigan gets and the worship Timani gets is unbalanced.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 9:13pm
                Fionn said | September 8th 2017 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

                I disagree, Timani has been solid in every full test he has been given, and has been decent in most of the tests he has limited minutes off the bench. Flanders has been invisible in all of his tests. Timani at least has the power to impose himself, and he cleans out like no one else.

                I don’t think Timani is endlessly praised at all, he is just the best option of an average bunch.

          • September 7th 2017 @ 6:45pm
            Perthstayer said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

            TWAS – You say that but he was shown up by Naisarini who had no problem fitting in. I believe he qualifies to be Australian soon’ish, just needs to lose a few pounds

        • September 7th 2017 @ 5:09pm
          Fionn said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

          Some might say that you saw Ned Flanders’ pedestrian efforts for the Wallabies and Waratahs all season you’d drop him.

          • Roar Guru

            September 7th 2017 @ 5:15pm
            PeterK said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

            considering Timani has not been given a genuine chance or time playing for the wallabies, obviously discouraged.

            Also that demspey makes the squad hardly playing, lacks game time , doesn’t have to play nrc but he gets in the 23.

            Mind you I think Dempsey is better than hanigan so at least I can hope Dempsey has a blinder and starts ahead of Hanigan next game.

            • September 7th 2017 @ 5:38pm
              cuw said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

              have no idea who Dempsy is , but he will have to be good coz JLDP is a huge boy and he can play very well 🙂

              the saffas have loaded their pack with muscle rather than pace by going in with their biggest 2nd rowers.

              it will be better than NZ v Argies for sure 🙂

              • Roar Guru

                September 8th 2017 @ 8:55am
                stillmissit said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:55am | ! Report

                CUW – I have to disagree I think SA pack is huge and the backrow are more than fast enough with great T/O tech.. I think they will give the KIWI’s a hard time at the breakdown and the Wallabies will get done at the breakdown..

            • September 7th 2017 @ 6:47pm
              Perthstayer said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

              Mumm’s given Hanigan those dodgy photos of Cheika.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm
      Perthstayer said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

      Hanigan’s as much use as a chocolate tea pot

      • September 7th 2017 @ 5:37pm
        PiratesRugby said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

        Hanigan to start again with Dempsey as cover. Priceless!
        Do you think Cheika is actually trolling us? I’m still half expecting Rob Horne and Tom Carter to be named in the starting XV.

        • September 7th 2017 @ 6:16pm
          Rugnut said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

          Dean Mumm is a shock replacement as captain.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 10:52pm
        Frank said | September 7th 2017 @ 10:52pm | ! Report

        Someone pls tell cheika he’s wallaby coach not the Waratah development coach.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 4:24pm
      Mike Julz said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

      The Boks will walk through their scrums. No muscle in the 2nd row and loosies.

      • September 7th 2017 @ 9:06pm
        Ruckin' Oaf said | September 7th 2017 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

        Maybe the plan is to score tries off the backpedalling scrum again !

      • September 8th 2017 @ 9:10am
        jameswm said | September 8th 2017 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        Who do we have that’s better than Coleman and Arnold?

        • September 8th 2017 @ 9:44am
          Jerry said | September 8th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          Yeah, your second row is one of the most promising areas in Aus rugby. They’re both very good players with significant potential for improvement.

    • September 7th 2017 @ 4:35pm
      Bob Wire said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

      So, it’s possible we’ll have Hooper, Ned and Dempsey playing together in the back row at some stage, good opportunities for the the newbies to make a statement (a positive one it is hoped).
      Good to see Kepu and TPN starting, and with Coleman back, a good tight five they’ll handle the Boks, no drama’s.
      Bring it on!

      • September 7th 2017 @ 4:44pm
        Waratah love affair continues said | September 7th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

        Cheika really loves his Waratah connections.
        May as well start the entire Tahs forward pack

      • September 7th 2017 @ 5:39pm
        PiratesRugby said | September 7th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

        Will Skelton is coming in as fitness coach and Dean Mumm as high performance manager.

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