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James O'Connor given the nod in the centres for Wallabies

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James O'Connor. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The Wallabies have rolled the dice with former bad boy James O’Connor as they look to fire their attack against the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship clash in Perth on Saturday.


In his first start in six years O’Connor has been selected to play outside centre for the clash, which doubles as a Bledisloe Cup Test, in one of four changes to the side that beat Argentina last month in Brisbane.

The Wallabies have struggled to convert dominant possession and opportunities into points in their past two Tests against South Africa and the Pumas, with coach Michael Cheika deciding to bring another ball-player into his backline to replace outside centre Tevita Kuridrani.

Now 29, Connor became the second youngest Wallaby in Australian rugby history at age 18, but his promising career went off track after alcohol and drug indiscretions.

Other changes to the starting side see Tolu Latu comes in at hooker for Folau Fainga’a and Allan Alaalatoa takes over from Sekope Kepu on the tighthead side of the scrum.


1. Scott Sio (56 Tests)
2. Tolu Latu (13 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (32 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (19 Tests)
5. Rory Arnold (21 Tests)
6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (13 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (93 Tests)
8. Isi Naisarani (2 Tests)
9. Nic White (24 Tests)
10. Christian Lealiifano (20 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (21 Tests)
12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (27 Tests)
13. James O’Connor (45 Tests)
14. Reece Hodge (35 Tests)
15. Kurtley Beale (85 Tests)


16. Folau Fainga’a (9 Tests)
17. James Slipper (88 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (13 Tests)
19. Adam Coleman (31 Tests)
20. Luke Jones (4 Tests)
21. Will Genia (102 Tests)
22. Matt To’omua (44 Tests)
23. Tom Banks (4 Tests)


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