Waratahs back-rower Jack Dempsey has been named in the starting line-up for Saturday’s Test against Wales.
Jack Dempsey has put his injury hell behind him after being named in the Wallabies starting line-up for the first time in over a year against Wales on Sunday.
The 24-year-old back-rower will fill the blindside flanker spot ahead of Ned Hanigan in one of four changes made by coach Michael Cheika to the team that lost to the All Blacks in Japan two weeks ago.
Dempsey was sidelined for almost 12 months when he sustained nerve damage after his hamstring was ripped from the bone in a match against the Barbarians just before last year’s spring tour.
He made a cameo appearance off the bench in Yokohama but will make his first Wallabies start since the memorable win over New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium in October 2017.
The tough-tackling 24-year-old will add some beef to a pack that has struggled at set-pieces in recent weeks.
Abrasive hooker Tolu Latu gets the nod ahead of Folau Fainga’a, who drops out of the squad, with veteran rake Tatafu Polota-Nau added to the reserves bench for the Principality Stadium encounter.
Lock Adam Coleman has recovered from the groin problem that forced him out of the 37-20 defeat by New Zealand in Yokohama and is restored to the team ahead of Rob Simmons.
Samu Kerevi is rewarded for a strong showing in Japan off the bench with the starting outside centre spot alongside Kurtley Beale.
Israel Folau moves to the wing with Sefa Naivalu dropping out of the 23-man squad.
Veteran centre Adam Ashley-Cooper misses out with Matt Toomua preferred on the bench to the 34-year-old.
Wallabies team to play Wales:
Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (capt), Jack Dempsey, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tolu Latu, Scott Sio. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Jack Maddocks.