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Australia A make five changes for second Japan clash

By AAP
(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Australia A coach Jason Gilmore has made five changes to the starting team for Saturday’s second clash against Japan XV in Fukuoka.

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NSW playmaker Tane Edmed slots in at flyhalf, replacing club teammate Ben Donaldson in a move that was forecast by Gilmore last week as all players look to get valuable game time on tour.

He partners Ryan Lonergan in the halves, who will again skipper the side in the number nine jersey.

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Wallabies prop Pone Fa’amausili will play his first match for Australia A as the starting tighthead prop. Packing down alongside fellow Test-capped front rowers Matt Gibbon and Billy Pollard.

Former Australia Sevens speedster, turned NSW Waratah, Dylan Pietsch will also see his first action of the tour, named on the left wing with Reds pair of Jock Campbell and Suliasi Vunivalu at fullback and right wing respectively.

Melbourne backrower Brad Wilkin is the only other change to the run-on side, impressing from the pine in last weekend’s 34-22 win to earn a start in the number seven jersey.

He will work alongside the 25-Test capped Ned Hanigan and 21-year-old Langi Gleeson in the backrow, the latter continuing his outstanding debut professional season.

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ACT Brumbies teammates Cadeyrn Neville and Nick Frost will combine in the second row in consecutive matches.

Western Force inside centre Bayley Kuenzle will again wear the number 12 jersey, earning a chance to build on his combination with Hudson Creighton in the midfield.

Gilmore has also made a number of changes on the bench, with Reds hooker Richie Asiata named as the replacement hooker in what is his first Australia A appearance, with Harry Hoopert and Tom Robertson the finishing props.

Fellow Queensand representative Seru Uru and up-and-coming Brumbies backrower Rory Scott will see their first minutes in Japan, named as the remaining bench forwards. The latter another making his Australia A debut.

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NSW young gun Teddy Wilson is the final player from the matchday squad in line to make his Australia A debut as the reserve scrumhalf, while new Force recruit Hamish Stewart has been named as the finishing playmaker.

Wallabies fullback Tom Banks has been selected to make his return from a broken arm via the pine and rounds out the matchday 23.

The match between Australia A and the Japan XV is set to kick off at 4pm AEDT.

Australia A:
1. Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels)
2. Billy Pollard (ACT Brumbies)
3. Pone Fa’amausili (Melbourne Rebels)
4. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies)
5. Cadeyrn Neville (ACT Brumbies)
6. Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs)
7. Brad Wilkin (Melbourne Rebels)
8. Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs)
9. Ryan Lonergan (c) (ACT Brumbies)
10. Tane Edmed (NSW Waratahs)
11. Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs)
12. Bayley Kuenzle (Western Force)
13. Hudson Creighton (ACT Brumbies)
14. Suliasi Vunivalu (Queensland Reds)
15. Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)

Replacements:
16. Richie Asiata (Queensland Reds)
17. Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds)
18. Tom Robertson (Western Force)
19. Seru Uru (Queensland Reds)
20. Rory Scott (ACT Brumbies)
21. Teddy Wilson (NSW Waratahs)
22. Hamish Stewart (Western Force)
23. Tom Banks (ACT Brumbies)

– Rugby Australia

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