Marika Koroibete one of four changes to Wallabies for Bledisloe II
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has recalled four players to the starting lineup for Saturday’s must-win Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks in Auckland.
Marika Koroibete returns to the wing after being dropped last week for disciplinary reasons after a late-night drinking session with teammates Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili.
Matt Philip will partner Darcy Swain in their first test start together in the second row, while Lachlan Swinton’s inclusion at blindside flanker has forced a reshuffle of the loose forwards with Rob Valetini moving to No.8.
Michael Hooper will skipper the side for the 57th time at openside flanker.
After an impressive Bledisloe Cup debut in last Saturday’s 33-25 series-opening defeat, Rebels flyer Andrew Kellaway earns his second start for the Wallabies, in the back three with Koroibete and fullback Tom Banks.
Queensland Reds duo Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Harry Wilson will cover the second and back row from the bench, while Nic White is set for his first appearance for the Wallabies in 2021 after recovering from a knee injury to be the replacement halfback.
The versatile Reece Hodge will again be among the bench options.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 11, 2021
“Eden Park is a place that most teams fear but we’re excited to get another crack after last weekend’s disappointment,” Rennie said.
“To beat New Zealand, you have to win the collisions and be clinical for 80 minutes and we didn’t do that.
“We’ve got a lot more in us and we’ll show that on Saturday night.”
The match doubles as the start of the 2021 Rugby Championship.
Wallabies: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Hunter Paisami, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Tate McDermott, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Lachlan Swinton, Matt Phillip, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Scott Sio, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Harry Wilson, Nic White, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge.
– Darren Walton
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