2019 Rugby World Cup Wallabies Samu Kerevi and Izack Rodda will each make their return to the gold jersey on Sunday afternoon against New Zealand at Optus Stadium.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has selected Kerevi at inside centre while Rodda will make his return via the finishers, in what will be their first appearances since the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan nearly two years ago.
Folau Fainga’a is also set to play his first Test of 2021, named at hooker in an all-Brumbies front row alongside James Slipper and Allan Alaalatoa for the eToro Rubgy Championship clash which kicks off at 2pm AWST/4pm AEST.
The remaining forward pack is unchanged from Bledisloe Two with Matt Philip and Darcy Swain the second row combination, as the Wallabies look to win back-to-back Tests against New Zealand at home for the first time since 2008.
Michael Hooper will wear the number seven jersey and captain the side for the 58th time, just one behind the most decorated Wallabies captain, George Gregan. He’s joined in the backrow by the abrasive Lachlan Swinton at blindside flanker and powerful Rob Valetini at number 8.
After impressive outings at Eden Park, Tate McDermott will again be the starting scrumhalf, partnering fellow youngster Noah Lolesio in the halves for the third straight Test.
Kerevi will combine with Len Ikitau in the midfield at Optus Stadium, the venue of the Wallabies highest-ever points tally against New Zealand in the 47-26 victory in 2019.
The back three also remains unchanged with Marika Koroibete set to play his 39th Test for Australia on the right wing with the in-form Andrew Kellaway on the left edge and the elusive Tom Banks at fullback.
Lachlan Lonergan will play in his first Bledisloe Cup Test as the reserve hooker, with Angus Bell brought back into the side as the replacement loosehead prop alongside Taniela Tupou who will share the minutes at tighthead.
Rodda will be the replacement lock, while Brumbies backrower Pete Samu is also selected for his first International appearance this year as the backrow cover for the Father’s Day clash.
The experienced Nic White is the replacement number nine with the versatile Reece Hodge and exciting Jordan Petaia rounding out the match day 23.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “It’s great to be able to call on the experience of Samu and Izack this weekend with Hunter and Lukhan leaving the group to be with their partners in what’s a really exciting time of their lives.”
“Both Samu and Izack have worked really hard since joining the group, been positive additions and have earned their opportunity to pull on the gold jersey on Sunday afternoon at Optus Stadium.
“The past three weeks in Perth have given us a chance to train hard on the field, refresh off it and connect with the local community.
“We are excited about the chance to be back on home soil and put in a performance that all of our supporters can be proud of.”
Every Wallabies Test will be ad-free, live and on-demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport. At the same time, every home Wallabies Test will also be live, free-to-air on the Nine Network.
Tickets for the eToro Rugby Championship are available via wallabies.rugby.
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Information on hospitality packages is available here.
Wallabies team to play New Zealand at Optus Stadium, Perth on Sunday 5 September, 2:00pm AWST
- James Slipper (105 Tests)
- Folau Fainga’a (16 Tests)
- Allan Alaalatoa (48 Tests)
- Darcy Swain (5 Tests)
- Matt Philip (14 Tests)
- Lachlan Swinton (3 Tests)
- Michael Hooper (c) (110 Tests)
- Rob Valetini (9 Tests)
- Tate McDermott (7 Tests)
- Noah Lolesio (7 Tests)
- Marika Koroibete (38 Tests)
- Samu Kerevi (33 Tests)
- Len Ikitau (4 Tests)
- Andrew Kellaway (4 Tests)
- Tom Banks (16 Tests)
- Lachlan Lonergan (2 Tests)
- Angus Bell (7 Tests)
- Taniela Tupou (30 Tests)
- Izack Rodda (25 Tests)
- Pete Samu (10 Tests)
- Nic White (37 Tests)
- Reece Hodge (48 Tests)
- Jordan Petaia (9 Tests)