Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu will debut for Australia against a new-look Ireland side in Saturday’s first Test.


Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has combined youth with experience for the opening match of the series, with Paenga-Amosa’s bow capping his rise from the National Rugby Championship to Super Rugby in the last 12 months.

The 22-year-old lines up at hooker, with Reds team-mate and fellow debutant Timu at number eight. Pete Samu is also primed to collect a first cap from the bench.

Captain Michael Hooper and David Pocock join Timu in the back row, where Cheika believes the new man can have a real impact.

“I think Caleb has had a great season, to be honest,” he said.

“His carrying game has been outstanding and, if you look at the way our back row is set up, the other two boys aren’t the hugest of carriers.”

Changes in the back line also see the returns of Samu Kerevi and Dane Haylett-Petty.


Ireland also have a new look,¬†coach Joe Schmidt having recognised this tour as an opportunity for the Six Nations champions to “trial things”.

There are six changes from the XV that wrapped up the Grand Slam against England in March, with Peter O’Mahony stepping up as captain in the absence of the injured Rory Best.

Veterans such as Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Conor Murray remain in the back line, but Johnny Sexton drops to the bench, as Robbie Henshaw and Joey Carbery come in.


Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong are also among the replacements, with a much-changed front line including Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, John Ryan and Jordi Murphy.

Ireland are unbeaten since losing to Wales in March 2017.

Australia team: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Sekope Kepu, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Caleb Timu.

Replacements: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge.

Ireland team: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, John Ryan, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Jordi Murphy, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan, Kieran Marmion, Johnny Sexton, Jordan Larmour.

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