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Liam Wright confirmed as 89th Wallabies captain ahead of Wales Test

By Finn Morton
Liam Wright poses during an Australia Wallabies Portrait Session on June 26, 2024 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images for ARU)

Coach Joe Schmidt has named a surprise captain to lead Australia on Saturday night with Queensland Reds backrower Liam Wright set to become the 89th Wallabies captain when they take on Wales in Sydney.

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Wright will lead the men in gold into battle at Allianz Stadium after also being named to start at blindside flanker. It’d been reported earlier in the week that the 26-year-old had been given the nod to lead the team and that’s now been confirmed.

The loose forward’s leadership selection may have come as a surprise to some or even most, but Wright has proven himself captaincy material throughout the grades in Queensland. Wright captained Queensland U20s, Queensland Country and is now co-captain at the Reds.

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Fellow Reds co-captain Tate McDermott has also been named in the Wallabies’ 23 but will come off the pine, with NSW Waratahs skipper Jake Gordon picked in the No. 9 jersey.

Reds teammate Matt Faessler starts at hooker alongside Test centurion James Slipper and another former Queensland prop Taniela Tupou. Western Force skipper Jeremy Williams is one of two debutants in the starting lineup, and joins Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the middle row.

Captain Wright will pack down alongside Reds teammate Fraser McReight in the backrow, while reigning John Eales medallist Rob Valetini completes the forward pack as the No. 8.

Joining Jake Gordon in the halves is Brumbies pivot Noah Lolesio who returns to the Test arena for the first time in years. Outside them is Queensland pair Hunter Paisami and debutant Josh Flook in the midfield.

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Former Melbourne Rebels utility Filipo Daugunu is back in Wallaby gold after being named on the left wing, while NSW Waratahs recruit Kellaway will take his place on the right. In-form Brumbies outside back Tom Wright starts at fullback.

On the bench, there are another five potential debutants. Isaac Kailea, Angus Blyth, Charlie Cale, Tom Lynagh and Dylan Pietsch are all in line to debut in Wallaby gold should they be called on to come off the bench.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
26
29
First try wins
60%
Home team wins
60%

The Wallabies’ first Test of the year against Wales at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium is scheduled to get underway at 7:45 pm AEST. Earlier, the Wallaroos play Fiji as part of the double header.

Wallabies team to take on Wales

  1. James Slipper
  2. Matt Faessler
  3. Taniela Tupou
  4. Jeremy Williams*
  5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
  6. Liam Wright (c)
  7. Fraser McReight
  8. Rob Valetini
  9. Jake Gordon
  10. Noah Lolesio
  11. Filipo Daugunu
  12. Hunter Paisami
  13. Josh Flook*
  14. Andrew Kellaway
  15. Tom Wright

Replacements

  1. Billy Pollard
  2. Isaac Kailea**
  3. Allan Alaalatoa
  4. Angus Blyth**
  5. Charlie Cale**
  6. Tate McDermott
  7. Tom Lynagh**
  8. Dylan Pietsch**
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Comments

18 Comments
C
Chris 17 days ago

I’m liking those selections. As a neutral I think it’s the best possible team. Go the Wallabies :)

j
john 17 days ago

Why would you appoint a south african captain of the Reds who is unable to inspire his team when the pressure is on, as captain of the Wallabies ?
Because you are a kiwi.

N
Nick 17 days ago

No huge shocks except for second row and 9 imo. Curious to know Joe’s thinking on the selection of williams and blyth over the likes of frost, smith etc. What is he using to measure performance between them? And well done to john ferguson, author on here who called for Jake starting at 9 a couple of weeks ago. Not my pick, but I don’t think there is a huge gap between the three 9s so keen to see what he can do.

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