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Named: Wallabies side to play Wales

By Iain Strachan

Michael Cheika wants Samu Kerevi to show what he can do when Australia, boosted by the inclusion of Bernard Foley and Will Genia, take on Wales this weekend.

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After scoring two tries during the 63-30 victory over Japan in Yokohama on Saturday, Kerevi has been retained in the starting XV at centre ahead of Karmichael Hunt.

“I think Samu’s a very, very good player and I know he hasn’t had it all his way this year so I’m eager to see him fight back and hold a spot in the team,” head coach Cheika said.

“A really good thing for us is we’ve got options around how we can set up because Karmichael can go to full-back or centre, Samu can go 12 or 13, [Reece] Hodge can play pretty much anywhere now, and [Kurtley] Beale can play 12, full-back or fly-half if we need.”

Fly-half Foley and scrum-half Genia have recovered from illness and a calf injury respectively to start at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, where Beale will play at full-back in the absence of Israel Folau, who is taking a break from the game for the remainder of the year.

Wallabies: Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, A Coleman, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (c), Sean McMahon.

Replacements: Stephen Moore, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Matt Philip, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Karmichael Hunt, Henry Speight.

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Turlough 3 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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