Two debutants for Wallabies as Cheika names team to play Ireland

Stirling Coates Roar Guru

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    The Wallabies have named a mostly experienced line-up for the first Test against Ireland although, with two debutants named on the field and another on the bench, it could be a fresh look for the Australian national side on Saturday.

    Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu will pull on the gold jumper for the first time on Saturday night, with Paenga-Amosa to line-up at hooker and Timu starting at No. 8.

    Paenga-Amosa – who was toiling in the Shute Shield last year – has been rewarded for his strong season thus far with the Reds, while his teammate Timu will look to cap off a remarkable return from a serious knee injury in 2016 when he runs out alongside skipper Michael Hooper and the returning David Pocock.

    It’ll be the first time Australia have had a genuine No. 8 line up in the position in some time. Timu – once a member of the Brisbane Broncos U20 squad – had previously moonlighted as an Uber driver to supplement his modest income as a fringe Queensland player.

    Pete Samu, named as part of a six-two bench, is the third uncapped player named and could potentially make his debut if called on.

    It’s been a whirlwind few months for Samu, with the current Crusader signing a contract for next year with the Brumbies just a day before the announcement of the Wallabies squad and sensationally being granted a release by the NZRU to play for Australia.

    Tolu Latu has also been a surprise addition to the bench after his inclusion to the squad roughly 24 hours ago.

    The rest of the team is relatively settled, although Wallabies fans will be nervous about Kurtley Beale and Samu Kerevi being partnered in the centres again after they were torched by the All Blacks last Bledisloe Cup.

    It’ll be an interesting test for the Wallabies as they look to put a disappointing end to 2017 behind them. They’ve lost three of their past four Tests against the Irish, although they’ve won the last nine matches on Australian soil.

    The Wallabies’ last home loss to Ireland was at the SCG in 1979.

    Wallabies team to play Ireland – Game 1

    1. Scott Sio
    2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
    3. Sekope Kepu
    4. Izack Rodda
    5. Adam Coleman
    6. David Pocock
    7. Michael Hooper (c)
    8. Caleb Timu
    9. Will Genia
    10. Bernard Foley
    11. Dane Haylett-Petty
    12. Kurtley Beale
    13. Samu Kerevi
    14. Marika Koroibete
    15. Israel Folau

    Reserves
    16. Tolu Latu
    17. Allan Alaalatoa
    18. Taniela Tupou
    19. Rob Simmons
    20. Lukhan Tui
    21. Pete Samu
    22. Nick Phipps
    23. Reece Hodge

    State of Origin 2 is here, with the Blues looking to wrap the 2018 series up and the Maroons hoping to keep it alive and force a decider. Follow along with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 live scores and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (220)

    • June 7th 2018 @ 2:02pm
      Ouch said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

      Alright I reckon.

      • June 7th 2018 @ 2:35pm
        ethan said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        No real surprises. Hope Timu has a stormer at 8. He’s the kind of big physical presence we need.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 3:09pm
          PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          I think there are pleasant surprises.

          I imagined a worse team i.e 3 opensiders starting, Robertson on the bench,Tui starting at 6 Timu on the bench, Simmons and Latu starting.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 7th 2018 @ 3:38pm
            Die hard said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

            Do you think the 6/2 bench will go ok PK? Who do you think comes off for Timu and for Samu and when, and what will it gain over who is starting .

            It looks like he wants them to run all night with them rather than power through them. I always have a worry for a two reserve backline.

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2018 @ 3:49pm
              PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

              I do think the 6:2 bench will go ok, he has a few underdone forwards so needs to bolster them.

              Tui on for Timu and Pocock shifts to 8 at about 50 mins.

              This gets you a better lineout but less ball carrying.

              Samu for Pocock at 60 mins. This gets you better ball carrying but less ruck.
              However at about that time Latu comes on which strengthens the scrum and ruck.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 5:10pm
                Dave_S said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

                Peter you could well be right, but then who plays no.8 for the last 10 min? Has Samu played there? Pretty sure no-one but Pocock and Timu have played there.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 7th 2018 @ 6:34pm
            DJ DJ said | June 7th 2018 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

            Agree. It has only taken Cheika 3 years to get there but this looks a sensible side

        • June 8th 2018 @ 4:30am
          Faith said | June 8th 2018 @ 4:30am | ! Report

          Timu who was knocked into next week by Johnny Fa’uli. Lol. Flat track bully at SR level just adds onto the powder puff pack …

          • June 8th 2018 @ 11:45am
            Cliff Bishkek said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

            And with a name like “Faith” you walk down the road with your handbag and swing when the little old ladies give you a hard time. Be careful Petal!!

            • June 8th 2018 @ 12:03pm
              Phil said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              Yes,Cliff,Faith sure added a lot to this discussion.Maybe should be contributing to a discussion on All Blacks v France instead.

      • June 7th 2018 @ 11:19pm
        Noodles said | June 7th 2018 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

        much knitting of brows about backs< which is laughable. i worry about 13. but the biggie is the pack and this is a great starting 8 for now and onwards

      • June 8th 2018 @ 12:31pm
        PiratesRugby said | June 8th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

        Tight 5 is good. Latu and reserve props good selections too. Would prefer either Hooper or Pocock but backrow not bad. I guess Pocock is just seat warming for Hanigan? Lol. Phipps on bench? Seriously? Probably the fifth best scrummie in Australian super rugby. Foley and Beale at 10 and 12 to create saloon door defence in midfield. I just reckon Hodge is better than Foley, Beale or Kerevi. Korobeiti is Australia’s form winger. DHP is sound but not a winger. He should be FB. Naivalu, Maddocks, Nairavoro or Folau should be on that wing. And Simmons still gets selected for the Wallabies. Sigh.
        Great too see new players getting capped. I hope they go well.

    • June 7th 2018 @ 2:03pm
      Kenneth said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

      There’s a fair bit of mongrel about the forward pack.

      Backs look dangerous, but Foley, Beale and Kerevi have to make some tackles.

      • June 7th 2018 @ 2:32pm
        robbo999 said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        Super Rugby Missed Tackle Champs 2018 season to Date (top 5)

        1. Kerevi (36)

        2. Kwagga Smith (33)

        3. Foley, Beale, Jantjes (32)

        That should make the Irish forwards’ eyes light-up off first phase ball.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 3:03pm
          Train Without A Station said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

          Need to look at it in context of attempts though.

          Smith makes 17/20 tackle attempts. That’s pretty good.

          Kerevi also makes about 5/6 tackle attempts. Again, not that bad.

          You get down to Beale and Foley and it’s more like 11/14 or 15 tackles attempts.

        • June 7th 2018 @ 4:10pm
          Frank said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

          I believe Kerevi is a liability defending at 13 and much more sound at 12. I would have had him at 12 and push Beale back to fullback. That way Beale is out of the front line defense and he provides a more competent clearance kick. He can also chime in the backline where he see fit, providing support to Foley.

          Obviously, Folau would move to the wing. He and Koroibete would create a lot of problems for Ireland on the flanks.

          To finish off, Rona can come in at 13.

          How does that sit with you guys?

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 4:39pm
            Ralph said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

            I have always seen Kerevi as a 12.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 9:37pm
              Ouch said | June 7th 2018 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

              Yes but Foley plays so much better when KB is outside him.

            • Roar Guru

              June 8th 2018 @ 11:00am
              jeznez said | June 8th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

              I think it is by far Kerevi’s best position and wish he’d be allowed to just focus on it.

              Makes me wonder why the Reds haven’t looked at Paia’aua for 13. They’ve tried DP at 10, 12 and 15. Why not have a look at him for 13 and similarly once they’ve picked a position just let him spend time in it to develop.

              My Wallaby midfield would be Beale and Kuridrani with Kerevi on the bench.

              With a back three of Hodge, Koroibete and Folau with Naiayaravoro on the bench (and if we don’t want to play Taqele since he is heading offshore next year then one of the young speedsters in Maddocks or Banks).

              The Foley/Beale attacking axis is too strong to ignore right now, TK locks down the 13 defensive duties but there are enough strike runners around him that the attack shouldn’t suffer.

              The bench guys can come on to change the shape of the team as needed. Kerevi can go to 12 to tighten the defence further and allow a more direct running midfield, or at 13 if we need to chase the game and lift our running threat out wide.

              Same reason I like Naiayaravoro or a genuine speed merchant out wide. TQ in particular adds a weapon if we are trying to chase a game.

      • Roar Guru

        June 7th 2018 @ 2:42pm
        PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

        that is the biggest weakness , is the defence of those 3 lined up.

        It does look like Beale will defend in the line though since Hodge was selected.

        DHP won’t defend at 12. I can’t see Koroeibete doing it either.

        Maybe Hooper will defend there for Beale.

        • June 7th 2018 @ 2:46pm
          Hello said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          It does look like there will not be musical chairs for defence

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm
            Timbo (L) said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            Doesn’t look like there will be any defense, period.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 7:00pm
              jameswm said | June 7th 2018 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

              You’re assuming Ireland are very threatening in attack. HOw often is this a major issue?

              • June 8th 2018 @ 1:49pm
                mtiger said | June 8th 2018 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

                well 14 of the ruck carries in the 41 phase vs France were by the back line

              • Roar Guru

                June 8th 2018 @ 7:18pm
                Timbo (L) said | June 8th 2018 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

                Sarcasm?
                I hope.

        • June 7th 2018 @ 2:51pm
          jutsie said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

          I really thought he would stick with TK for that reason. Kerevi and rona have both been exposed a bit defensively over the last couple of rounds of Super rugby.

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm
            jeznez said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

            I’d come around to wanting TK for 13 with Kerevi off the bench. Would tighten the defensive line and allow the attack to be boosted later in the match.

            I wonder if the musical chairs is just Beale dropping and Kerevi and Koroibete each sliding in one spot?

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2018 @ 3:00pm
              PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

              that actually makes sense, good thought.

              kerevi slides to 12 where he defends well, Koroiibete to 13 which is suspect though and Folua moves up to wing for the box kick that side. Beale drops back.

              That is better than the musical chairs that have happened.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 7:54pm
                StuM said | June 7th 2018 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

                Beale drops back – and fields high balls?!

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 3:01pm
            PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

            TK’s defense has been average in super rugby, no better than Kerevi or Rona.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 3:38pm
              Connor33 said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

              Kerevi at 13 is MADNESS, Pk.

              Everyone know that I’ve been a fan of Cheika, but continuing to think Kerevi can be in the 15 is absolute madness. Time and again at international level he has been found out defensively.

              TK has not………TK has been one of the world’s best 13 over the last 4 years.

              But it’s not just TK’s defense, it’s what he does off the ball from set piece: his unders’ lines. His match winning tries…two I can think of in the last 5 minutes and 5 seconds of the game, respectively. Some of Au’s best set piece play and wins since the WC have been predicated on TK.

              I’m happy with the rest of the team, but if we lose on Saturday, I’ll say it now: Kerevi will be a notable factor and we’ll all being going: bring back the test hardened, consistent TK.

              Bloody disappointed with your decision Cheika, bloody disappointed. Kerevi could have been a fine finisher, he’s no Jedi, let alone a starter. Did I say I’m disappointed….

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2018 @ 3:54pm
                PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

                TK is out of form.

                Also poor in a lot of tests last year, in fact only 1 test was he more than solid in and that was against Japan.

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2018 @ 4:40pm
                Ralph said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

                Maybe PK, but the WB’s have huge investment in TK through to the RWC I reckon.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 4:42pm
                bojo said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

                Disagree. Kerevi has improved his defence this year. He did a lot of work in the off season and it shows in some of his reds games this year. I have been to all of them. He won’t let the team down, however he will need support from those around him including Beale.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 4:51pm
                Connor33 said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

                TK played every game post the Bled 1 debacle and we just narrowly lost to the Abs in Bled 2 when TK was 13. Note: Won the second half of Bled 1 when he came on. Didn’t lose until England—beating the Abs along the way— in what was one of the worst referreed games of 2017, and the whole team ran out of gas against Scotland.* Hardly TK’s fault. If anything TK put spine into the team in 2017, something Kerevi has never done when he has started for AU.

                That said, by all means bring Kerevi on as a finisher… on the wing perhaps, particularly if we are behind. But he 1) can’t read opposing lines, 2) he rushes and hesitates in defense and 3) once beaten he can’t turn and chase. He’s now been playing SR for how long? In other words, everything we would want in the defensive play of a center, Kerevi is not.

                *I don’t think we played Ireland last year.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 8:09pm
                MelR said | June 7th 2018 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                Agreed the overlooking of TK at 13 is a perilous error. Super rugby form does not transfer into test form. The test arena is a different kettle of fish! TKs defence and all round game is a must. Guess which channel the Irish will be exploiting? Looking forward to seeing TK back for test 2.

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2018 @ 8:13pm
                PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 8:13pm | ! Report

                MelR – So it seems you want Kerevi to go poorly so TK can be brought back in.

                I hope you are not a Wallaby supporter.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 2:54pm
          Timbo (L) said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

          Hooper’s defensive patch is the 10/12 channel

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 3:02pm
            PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

            I know and with Pocock chosen Hooper can be a fixture at 12 defending and let Pocock handle the ruck duties.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 7th 2018 @ 4:12pm
              Kirky said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              I would imagine that Hooper will spend a fair bit of time at second 5/8 to prop up Beale who is the last guy that should be playing in the most difficult possie in the backline as any good player who has had that gig for any length of time will tell you, ~ it’s not for the faint hearted as you are the go to guy when it matters so, when Kurtley dances on the spot for a while then runs sideways to either sideline before deciding as to what he may do next if he gets that far before he’s driven backwards by a full on head on tackle by a big Paddy’ forward, Hooper should by then be there to help him to do his job!

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2018 @ 5:33pm
              Timbo (L) said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

              So who is going to defend the rucks?

              The Cheeky Irish Loosies will exploit that in a flash.

          • June 7th 2018 @ 3:45pm
            robbo999 said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

            I actually meant to say “backs’ eyes”. Hooper won’t be there off first phase ball

            • Roar Guru

              June 7th 2018 @ 3:51pm
              PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

              scrum no, lineout yes, Hooper on opposition ball often stands in the halfback spot at lineout time.

              • June 7th 2018 @ 4:24pm
                Ed said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:24pm | ! Report

                Could you see Ireland attacking at the area where Foley often stands on the wing when the opposition has lineout ball?

              • June 7th 2018 @ 9:02pm
                Adsa said | June 7th 2018 @ 9:02pm | ! Report

                Absolutely Ed , clown hid Foles on the wing v Poms on the spring tour last year. On a wet day at Twickenham it rained heavy with Garry Owens on Foley’s wing in defence position and Poms got the chocolates.
                Between holding high running backs (Kerevi) and bombing Foles with the high ball you have a game plan to beat Oz.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 7th 2018 @ 4:16pm
              Kirky said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

              Robbo, hopefully Hooper and Beale will meet somewhere close to any sideline that Kurtley’s run to so he should get that second phase ball and do what he does best, helps Kurtley out in times of woe!

        • June 7th 2018 @ 4:21pm
          Crash Ball2 said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

          Fox Sports Stats:

          – Missed tackles (6th) Michael Hooper (32)
          – Ineffective tackles (1st) Michael Hooper (23)
          – Overall tackle effectiveness (320th) Michael Hooper (75%)

          With 1 out of 4 tackles either missed or ineffective, the midfield may still be a fertile hunting ground for the Irish even with the Wallabies incumbent openside flanker in the line.

          • June 7th 2018 @ 4:39pm
            Ed said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

            The overall tackle effectiveness from Fox Sports Stats for the eight Wallabies backs:

            Koroibete 51%
            Kerevi 61%
            Genia 62%
            DHP 63%
            Phipps 63%
            Folau 65%
            Hodge 65%
            Beale 66%
            Foley 66%

            We need their razzle dazzle as if it becomes a slugfest, it could be tough watching.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 4:53pm
              Crash Ball2 said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

              Got it. Score lots of tries. Defence fair to middling.

              Hopefully Joe Schmidt got the memo about our preferred mode of rugby in Australia. Might be embarrassing for him if the Irish persist with the attritional, trench warfare test rugby that has gotten them absolutely nowhere this season.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 7th 2018 @ 4:02pm
        Kirky said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

        “A fair bit of mongrel in the forward pack” Let’s hope you’re right Kenneth ~ it’s been a long time since there was mongrel in any Australian pack and be assured the Number 2 side in the World won’t be tip toeing around to suit the Wallabies, they have an awesome pack and a brilliant backline which will no doubt cause this Aussie’ team a fair bit of grief, so the boys in yellow will need to be right on their toes! ~ Forgot to mention the awesome kicking game they have also!!

        No reason for the Aussies’ not to get really stuck in to nullify the strengths of Ireland, ~ they’ll have to, right from the outset, ~ it will be very similar to playing the All Blacks~ Go well!

      • June 7th 2018 @ 8:28pm
        Rhys Bosley said | June 7th 2018 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

        The upside is that if all the starting backs are equally bad at defence, perhaps they won’t bother playing musical chairs to cover the deficiencies .,.

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 10:40pm
          jeznez said | June 7th 2018 @ 10:40pm | ! Report

          That would actually be a good thing Rhys – although they might decide they have to hide Koroibete from catching box kicks!

          • June 9th 2018 @ 4:27pm
            Rhys Bosley said | June 9th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            Indeed jeznez

    • Roar Guru

      June 7th 2018 @ 2:04pm
      pformagg said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

      Solid Team. Ireland to target Koroibete’s wing with box kicks.

      • Roar Guru

        June 7th 2018 @ 2:41pm
        PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

        Hopefully Folau will be playing on the wing as he often does to defuse the box kicks.

        • June 7th 2018 @ 2:45pm
          cuw said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

          interesting that Koroibete’s named at 14

          i always thought he is a 11 – isnt he??

          • Roar Guru

            June 7th 2018 @ 3:55pm
            PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

            But Folau moves up on the right wing so Koroibete might move in to 13.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 4:06pm
              cuw said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

              now ur confusing me.

              MK named 14 – but will shift to 13.

              IF named 15 – but will shift to 14

              so conventional wisdom says :

              SK named 13 – will shift to 12?

              and KB named 12 will shift to 15?

              and the only guy not moving is DHP at 14?

              Aussy trying to beat Irish by confusing them 😀

              • Roar Guru

                June 7th 2018 @ 6:08pm
                PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

                I actually think they will defend in position at the line except for either foley or beale (1 not both) dropping back as many teams do.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 7th 2018 @ 7:52pm
                KiwiHaydn said | June 7th 2018 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

                Two 14s? You’ve even confused yourself!

            • June 7th 2018 @ 4:25pm
              Frank said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

              In that case, they should just position Folau on the wing and not full-back.

            • June 7th 2018 @ 4:31pm
              Frank said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

              Koroibete has a terrible defensive record, averaging 2.9 missed tackles a game. That is on the wing. He would be terrible defending at 13, as it is the most difficult position to defend in the backline.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 7th 2018 @ 4:19pm
        Kirky said | June 7th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

        I’d say they will be pummeling Folau with high balls also as Murray has an awesome and accurate boot, no doubt about that!

        • Roar Guru

          June 7th 2018 @ 5:44pm
          Machooka said | June 7th 2018 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

          Kirky, you loveable crazy fool… but why would you kick to one of the best high kick returners of the ball?

      • Roar Guru

        June 7th 2018 @ 2:40pm
        PeterK said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

        IMO Cheikas plan is to run it wide often , not to play it tight at all.
        Sure the forwards get over the adline, get good front foot ball and then wide.

        With Timu, Latu and Tui all having question marks about match fitness I understand why a 6:2 bench was chosen.

    • June 7th 2018 @ 2:05pm
      Hammertime said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      Nothing too terrifying which makes a nice change as often these announcements leave me shaking with fear!

    • June 7th 2018 @ 2:08pm
      Skid said | June 7th 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

      Like it.

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