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Video: Rookie Wallabies hooker Uelese vows to put on the "old man's pants" against Ireland

By Nathaniel Cope

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Australia will go into their three-Test tour against Ireland with a pair of rookie hookers. It used to be an area of vast experience, but former captain Stephen Moore has retired after 129 caps, while 82-capped Tatafu Polota-Nau is rested.

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Polota-Nau now plays his rugby for Aviva Premiership club Leicester Tigers after his former club Western Force were dropped from Super Rugby. He is still eligible to play for the Wallabies now and at the World Cup, but in the interim it’s a chance for the likes of Jordan Uelese and Anaru Rangi to stake a claim.

Michael Cheika set to name his squad on Wednesday and 21-year-old Uelese is eager to make his mark.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the number one at the moment, the side has not been selected. I think it is a great opportunity for young hookers coming through to finally walk free. It is going to be a bit different not having that older head.”

“Obviously last year I was with Taf and Moorey, who are some of the most capped hookers in the country so it’s going to be a bit daunting at first. But I think it’s definitely time to grow up and time to grow up and to put on the old man’s pants and take care of myself, so (I’m) very excited.”

Uelese’s rival for the shirt, Rangi, is a player that he rates highly and wants to see Rebels teammate in the Wallabies squad.

“He deserves a chance, he is playing some awesome footy, he puts his body on the line, he is just a nutcase. He is definitely someone you want in your team, especially if you want to push brutality and physicality, he is definitely the guy you want by your side.”

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In other news: Siya Kolisi about captaining the Springboks

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Australia’s first Test against Grand Slam champions Ireland takes place on June 9th in Brisbane and Uelese is expecting a tough contest.

“The Irish are obviously a great set-piece team, they like to control the ball and they play 30-plus phases at times so I think defence is a huge part of the game plan going forward and definitely the game is going to be won up front.

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“Footy over in Europe, it’s all based around set piece, scrum, lineout and maul. Taking ownership as a tight five to muscle up and show them what we’re worth.”

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Video: Rookie Wallabies hooker Uelese vows to put on the "old man's pants" against Ireland

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