It’s official. Nic White has been named to start for the Wallabies at halfback against the Springboks, replacing Tate McDermott after an impressive performance last weekend.
White came off the bench at a crucial time as the Wallabies pulled off a memorable 28-26 victory. He seemed to soak up the pressure on his shoulders and was instrumental in holding off the Springboks after an injury to McDermott.
Captain Michael Hooper will skipper the side for the 60th time passing George Gregan’s record for most Tests as Wallabies captain.
James Slipper returns to the run-on side alongside Taniela Tupou who earns a second start in 2021 at his home ground, with Folau Fainga’a finalising the front row at hooker.
Tom Robertson comes onto the bench for his first inclusion this year, while Dave Rennie has resisted the temptation to bring in James O’Connor, who has declared himself fit.
Hunter Paisami, who gave up his place after Bledisloe II to return home for the birth of his child, has missed out again following the strong performances of Samu Kerevi and Len Ikitau against South Africa.
Tom Banks has again been named at fullback with the 27-year-old having worn the number 15 jersey in every game for the Wallabies this year. He’s joined in the back three by Marika Koroibete and the in-form Andrew Kellaway.
“It’s an incredible milestone for Hoops on Saturday evening in Brisbane and it’s a testament to him as a person and a player,” Rennie said.
“I’ve been so impressed with his leadership both on and off the field and his drive to be better every day.
“We were really proud of the effort from our men last Sunday and we’re well aware of the ferocity that a wounded Springboks outfit will bring to Suncorp Stadium.”
Wallabies team to play Springboks – September 18, Suncorp Stadium 5:05pm AEST
1. James Slipper (107 Tests)
2. Folau Fainga’a (18 Tests)
3. Taniela Tupou (32Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (27 Tests)
5. Matt Philip (16 Tests)
6. Lachlan Swinton (5 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (112 Tests)
8. Rob Valetini (11 Tests)
9. Nic White (40 Tests)
10. Quade Cooper (71 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (40 Tests)
12. Samu Kerevi (35 Tests)
13. Len Ikitau (6 Tests)
14. Andrew Kellaway (6 Tests)
15. Tom Banks (18 Tests)
16. Feleti Kaitu’u (1 Test)
17. Angus Bell (9 Tests)
18. Tom Robertson (24 Tests)
19. Darcy Swain (6 Tests)
20. Pete Samu (12 Tests)
21. Tate McDermott (9 Tests)
22. Reece Hodge (50 Tests)
23. Jordan Petaia (11 Tests)