Underlining his faith in Australia’s generation next, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie will blood an eighth test debutant on Saturday night.
Lachie Swinton will start in the fourth and final Bledisloe Cup clash of the year against the All Blacks in Brisbane, relegating his NSW Waratahs teammate Ned Hanigan to the bench.
The blindside flanker will form a dynamic Wallabies back row with fellow emerging star Harry Wilson and 102-test skipper Michael Hooper.
Barring a training injury, the 22-year-old will be the latest young talent Rennie has introduced to the international arena in 2020.
Wilson, fellow back-rower Fraser McReight and exciting backs Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Irae Simone, Noah Lolesio and Tate McDermott have already made their test debuts in the Bledisloe Cup cauldron this year.
Daugunu and Simone, though, are under pressure to retain their spots in the Wallabies’ starting XV, with utility ace Reece Hodge pressing hard for a run-on berth.
The goalkicking Hodge could be named on the wing or in the centres or five-eighth when Rennie names his full match-day 23 later on Thursday.
After a draw and two defeats in the opening three matches, the Wallabies are hoping to avoid a sixth series whitewash in the past decade at the hands of the All Blacks.
– Darren Walton
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