Aug 5 • Australia, General News, International, National, New Zealand • 503 Views • No Comments on PETAIA RETURNS, KELLAWAY EARNS FIRST START FOR WALLABIES IN BLEDISLOE ONE

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has selected Jordan Petaia on the wing for the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland on Saturday night.

Petaia’s first appearance in the gold jersey in 2021 is one of two changes to an all-new back three, with Andrew Kellaway earning his first International start on the wing, with Tom Banks named at fullback.

The rest of the backline remains unchanged from the one that started in the deciding French Series Test win in Brisbane.

Queensland number nine Tate McDermott earns his second start at Test level, continuing the partnership with Brumbies playmaker Noah Lolesio in the halves.

Hunter Paisami has been selected at inside centre for his 10th consecutive Test, partnering Len Ikitau in the midfield who earns another opportunity at outside centre after a strong showing in Brisbane.

The run-on front row remains settled with James Slipper in line to play his 104th Test at loosehead prop, joined by Brandon Paenga-Amosa at hooker and club teammate Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead.

After an impressive French Series, youngster Darcy Swain will play in his first Bledisloe Cup Test, combining with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the second row.

Rob Valetini and Harry Wilson return to the starting side at blindside flanker and no. 8 respectively. Skipper Michael Hooper rounds out the backrow in his 56th Test as captain, just three behind most decorated Wallabies captain, George Gregan.

Melbourne hooker Jordan Uelese retains his spot in the matchday 23, with the youngest member of the squad, Angus Bell, and damaging prop Taniela Tupou as the replacements.

Matt Philip has been selected as the second row cover with Reds flanker Fraser McReight named to make his first appearance in Wallaby gold this season.

Jake Gordon is the finishing scrumhalf with the experienced duo of Matt To’omua and Reece Hodge to cover the remaining backs.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “As a group we couldn’t be more excited about the challenge of taking on New Zealand at Eden Park, a place they’re expected to win whenever they play there.”

“We’ve had a strong week on the training field and the team is in good shape heading to Auckland.

“We have a great opportunity to show how tight we are as a group on Saturday night and create our own history in the Wallabies jersey.”

Stan Sport will showcase Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup Test ad-free, live and on demand while it will also be simulcast on 9Gem.

Very limited tickets will be available from 4pm AWST today for the Bledisloe Cup Test at Optus Stadium in Perth on Saturday 28 August and available via Ticketmaster.

Wallabies team to play New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday 7 August, 7:05pm NZST

  1. James Slipper (103 Tests)
  2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (12 Tests)
  3. Allan Alaalatoa (46 Tests)
  4. Darcy Swain (3 Tests)
  5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (28 Tests)
  6. Rob Valetini (7 Tests)
  7. Michael Hooper (c) (108 Tests)
  8. Harry Wilson (8 Tests)
  9. Tate McDermott (5 Tests)
  10. Noah Lolesio (5 Tests)
  11. Andrew Kellaway (2 Tests)
  12. Hunter Paisami (9 Tests)
  13. Len Ikitau (2 Tests)
  14. Jordan Petaia (8 Tests)
  15. Tom Banks (14 Tests)
  16. Jordan Uelese (13 Tests)
  17. Angus Bell (6 Tests)
  18. Taniela Tupou (28 Tests)
  19. Matt Philip (12 Tests)
  20. Fraser McReight (1 Test)
  21. Jake Gordon (8 Tests)
  22. Matt To’omua (57 Tests)
  23. Reece Hodge (46 Tests)

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