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Ned Hanigan returns as Dave Rennie makes four changes to Wallabies team for Bledisloe 2

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Editor
15th October, 2020
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Dave Rennie has resisted the temptation to name an unchanged side for Bledisloe 2, instead making four changes to his Wallabies team for the Eden Park clash on Sunday.

Ned Hanigan is a shock inclusion to the squad, coming straight into the starting team for Pete Samu, who has been dropped. Hanigan hasn’t played Test rugby since late 2018 and was used as a lock during the Waratahs’ Super Rugby campaign, but has been named in the back row at blindside flanker alongside captain Michael Hooper at openside and Harry Wilson at number eight.

Folau Fainga’a has, like Samu, been dropped from the starting side out of the matchday squad altogether. The hooker had a wayward first half in Wellington, losing three lineouts and fumbling the ball which almost gifted the All Blacks a try right on halftime. He’s been replaced at no.2 by Brandon Paenga-Amosa, who is one of three Reds brought into the side.

Queensland captain Liam Wright has taken Rob Valtini’s place on the bench, and while Hunter Paisami has retained the no.13 jersey, Jordan Petaia will make his return from a hip flexor injury amongst the reserves. Noah Lolesio, who was an unused substitute last week, has dropped out of the side.

Petaia’s selection on the bench is the only change amongst the backs in the entire matchday squad, with the run-on backline remaining the same after a strong outing in Wellington and Jake Gordon staying ahead of Tate McDermott in the reserve scrumhalf pecking order.

Similarly, the backup front-row of Jordan Uelese, Allan Alaalatoa and Scott Sio remains unchanged, as does the starting prop pairing of James Slipper and Taniela Tupou, and each of the locks used last week – Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Matt Philip starting, and Rob Simmons on the bench – have kept their places as well.

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Wallabies team for Bledisloe 2

1. James Slipper
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Taniela Tupou
4. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
5. Matt Philip
6. Ned Hanigan
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. Harry Wilson
9. Nic White
10. James O’Connor
11. Marika Koroibete
12. Matt To’omua
13. Hunter Paisami
14. Filipo Daugunu
15. Tom Banks

Bench
16. Jordan Uelese
17. Scott Sio
18. Allan Alaalaota
19. Rob Simmons
20. Liam Wright
21. Jake Gordon
22. Jordan Petaia
23. Reece Hodge