With Coleman missing Michael Cheika has handed a starting spot to Simmons in the second row, his first chance to impress from kick-off since November 2017 against Scotland.
“I think Rob’s got a lot to prove here. I think he’s got a lot to prove,” Cheika told reporters in Tokyo.
“He’s been there or thereabouts for a long time, there’s some competition in that spot now.
2 days til the #BledisloeCup.
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) October 25, 2018
“I think it’s time for him to put his foot down and show he’s got everything required to be a regular starter and in the competition between himself and [Izack] Rodda and Coleman and [Rory] Arnold that he puts himself there, not just happy to be there when it’s on, to put himself there as a guy that wants to start for Australia.
“Not just if Adam’s out, that’s important for me.”
Winger Sefa Naivalu returns for the first time since suffering an ankle injury against Italy last year, the 26-year-old stepping in as Israel Folau moves to centre in place of the injured Reece Hodge.
Samu Kerevi is fit enough to be named among Cheika’s replacements, alongside loose forward Jack Dempsey.
Australia: Dane Haylett-Petty, Sefa Naivalu, Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, David Pocock.
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