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Caderyn Neville set to become third oldest Wallaby debutant against England

By AAP
(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will blood two old bulls against England with lock Cadeyrn Neville and hooker Dave Porecki named for the opening Test in Perth on Saturday.

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Aged 33, Neville is the third oldest debutant since WWII with his selection coming 10 years after the Brumbies forward was first included in a Wallabies training squad.

Standing 202cm and weighing 120kg, Neville will bring some grunt to the set piece where England will mount a formidable battle.

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Maori All Blacks post-match press conference
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Maori All Blacks post-match press conference

Waratahs rake Porecki, 29, also took the long way around, spending five years playing in the UK before returning to Australia in 2020.

After his successful return to the Test arena last year, Quade Cooper will wear the Wallabies No.10 jersey with youngster Noah Lolesio preferred ahead of James O’Connor for the bench role.

Fellow Japan-based players centre Samu Kerevi and winger Marika Koroibete, who each missed the end-of-season Spring Tour where the Wallabies lost all three Tests, have also been named.

Taniela Tupou has failed to recover from a calf injury with Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead and Waratahs prop Angus Bell at loosehead.

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Other starters include Brumbies lock Darcy Swain, blindside flanker Rob Leota and No.8 Rob Valetini.

Andrew Kellaway has been named on the right edge while Len Ikitau is at outside centre and Tom Banks at fullback.

Australia are looking to end a run of eight successive losses against Eddie Jones-coached England teams.

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Rennie said the squad had worked hard to prepare for the opening Test, with matches to follow in Brisbane and Sydney.

He praised Neville, a former elite rower who only took up rugby in 2009, and Porecki for their tenacity.

“The whole squad has worked hard over the past fortnight for what’s going to be a tough three-Test series against a very good England side,” Rennie said.

“Earning their first caps is a proud occasion for David, Cadeyrn and their families, with both men taking a unique journey to realise their dream of wearing the Wallabies jersey.”

England will name their squad late on Thursday and also their captain, with Owen Farrell favoured to get the nod.

Wallabies: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Rob Leota, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, David Porecki, Angus Bell. Res: Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia.

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