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After much back and forth, prominent Wallabies star David Pocock has been ruled out of Australia’s final 2018 Test against England, after succumbing to a lingering neck issue.
Speculation had been rampant for much of the week as to whether Pocock would line up or not – and he was even named as part of the side when it was unveiled last night (AEDT time).
But the Wallabies have today unveiled an updated line-up for the final Spring Tour Test which excludes Pocock, brings Pete Samu into the starting XV and sees Marika Koroibete join the 23-man side on the bench.
It caps off a tumultuous week of selection drama for Michael Cheika, with revelations emerging recently that Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper had been stood down after breaking team protocol following Australia’s loss to Wales.
The Wallabies had also been forced to defend themselves from controversial comments by England coach Eddie Jones, who insinuated the injury cloud over Pocock was nothing more than mind games from the Australian side.
The Test, which will be played tomorrow night at 2am (AEDT), is Australia’s last chance to score a much-needed win in what has been a miserable international year.
Australia will wear their indigenous jerseys for the match – the first such time they have done so for an away game – in what is also Will Genia’s 100th Test.
1. Scott Sio, 2. Tolu Latu, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Jack Dempsey, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Pete Samu, 9. Will Genia, 10. Matt To’omua, 11. Jack Maddocks, 12. Bernard Foley, 13. Samu Kerevi, 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 15. Israel Folau
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17. Jermaine Ainsley, 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Ned Hanigan, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Sefa Naivalu, 23. Marika Koroibete