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Wallabies make four changes to their starting team to face Wales

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Dave Rennie has named a Wallabies team to take on Wales in this Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series game in Cardiff that shows four changes from the starting XV that lost to England last Saturday. Change was guaranteed with skipper Michael Hopper ruled out following his injury in London. 

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Hooper’s place at openside has been taken by Pete Samu in a pack that contains two other alterations. Tighthead prop Taniela Tupou is fit again and his return sees stand-in skipper James Slipper revert to loosehead where Angus Bell drops out.  

There is also a switch at hooker with Tolu Latu coming in for Folau Fainga’a. Out the back, the change is limited to Filipo Daugunu earning his first Wallabies jersey since breaking his arm in the series decider against France back in July. He takes over from Tom Wright. The uncapped Lalakai Foketi is named on the bench. 

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Wallabies coach Rennie said: “It’s great to have Taniela and Allan (Alaalatoa) back in the mix this week. They bring a level of experience that will be key for us against a tough Welsh team.

“James Slipper is hugely respected in our mob and a strong contributor to our leadership group. He was the obvious choice to lead us in the absence of Michael Hooper. Lalakai has been with the squad all year and worked extremely hard to earn his first international opportunity in what is a proud moment for him and his family.

“We have made some great shifts this year, but we have been disappointed with our performances in the last two Tests and we will be looking to ensure we finish the year on a positive note against Wales on Saturday.”

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WALLABIES (vs Wales, Saturday)
1. James Slipper (c) (113 Tests)
2. Tolu Latu (20 Tests)
3. Taniela Tupou (37 Tests)
4. Rory Arnold (28 Tests)
5. Izack Rodda (33 Tests)
6. Rob Leota (5 Tests)
7. Pete Samu (18 Tests)
8. Rob Valetini (17 Tests)
9. Nic White (46 Tests)
10. James O’Connor (60 Tests)
11. Filipo Daugunu (6 Tests)
12. Hunter Paisami (13 Tests)
13. Len Ikitau (12 Tests)
14. Andrew Kellaway (12 Tests)
15. Kurtley Beale (94 Tests)
Replacements
16. Folau Fainga’a (24 Tests)
17. Angus Bell (15 Tests)
18. Allan Alaalatoa (52 Tests)
19. Will Skelton (20 Tests)
20. Lachlan Swinton (6 Tests)
21. Tate McDermott (14 Tests)
22. Lalakai Foketi*
23. Tom Wright (9 Tests)

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