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Tatafu Polota-Nau to make Wallabies swansong against Samoa

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Tatafu Polota-Nau. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

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Veteran hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is set to bring the curtain down on his Wallabies career in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up Test against Samoa in Sydney.


Polota-Nau missed selection for the World Cup, starting later this month in Japan, but will play a farewell Test at BankWest Stadium with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika set to name a mix of players from within and outside the squad.

Barring an injury which results in a World Cup call-up, his 90th Test will be his last for Australia.

Polota-Nau made his Test debut in 2005 as a 20-year-old against England before even playing a Super Rugby match.

His international career looked over at the end of 2018 but he answered Cheika’s call at his UK club Leicester to try to push for a third World Cup.

“It’s a privilege to wear the gold jersey again, most likely for the last time,” Polota-Nau said.

“It’s been a hell of a journey from my end and I feel very fortunate.”


The 34-year-old has been training with the World Cup players at their camp in New Caledonia and Polota-Nau felt the No.2 jersey was in good hands.

The Wallabies coach has opted for a World Cup rookie brigade in Folau Faingaa, Tolu Latu and Jordan Uelese.

“They are great – it’s possibly the best combination you will get for preparation for a World Cup,” the former Waratahs rake said.

“There’re various skills that each hooker possesses and I’m fortunate I’ve been able to witness that.


“I have every confidence they will be able to the job over in Japan.”

Polota-Nau was part of the Wallabies’ last Test match against Samoa in 2011 when the world No.16 team pulled off a huge 32-23 upset victory.

“It’s a very important game,” he said.

“Not just to get different combinations in the right place but also for guys who don’t get much exposure in Test rugby to test their wares.

“Samoa are a really experienced side with many of them playing in the premiership where I’m at (UK) so they will have a lot to offer as they prepare for Japan as well.”


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