Rugby Union 1 year ago

Bring on Bodyline, says Cheika

  • Bring on Bodyline, says Cheika

    Australian Wallabies rugby coach Michael Cheika speaks to the media in Brisbane on June 9, 2016. Australia takes on England in the first rugby Test match in Brisbane on June 11, before further Tests in Melbourne and Sydney / AFP / WILLIAM WEST / --IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE-- (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Lock Rory Arnold, centre Samu Kerevi and winger Dane Haylett-Petty have been selected to debut in the Wallabies starting team to face England in Saturday's first Test at Suncorp Stadium.

Standing 208cm tall, Brumbies giant Arnold will become the tallest man to play for Australia when he lines up alongside 60-Test veteran Rob Simmons in the second row.

Queensland Reds star Kerevi gets the vacant inside centre role and will team with Tevita Kuridrani to form one of the biggest centre pairings ever named for the Wallabies.

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Haylett-Petty is rewarded for his strong Super Rugby season at fullback for the Western Force, getting a wing spot in the injury-enforced absence of the likes of Joe Tomane and Henry Speight.

Queensland Reds halfback Nick Frisby is set to make his Test debut from the bench.

Coach Michael Cheika resisted the temptation to switch Israel Folau from fullback to the centres despite his scintillating form there for the NSW Waratahs this year.

He also retained the speedy, ball-pilfering backrow combination of David Pocock, James Hooper and Scott Fardy that worked so well last year, with Pocock at No.8 to accommodate Hooper at openside flanker.

Brumbies captain Christian Leali'ifano was considered a leading contender for the inside centre role but settles for a bench spot after only arriving in the camp on Wednesday after waiting at home for the birth of his first child.

Wallabies team: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Rory Arnold, Greg Holmes, Stephen Moore (capt), Scott Sio. Res: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, James Horwill, Dean Mumm, Sean McMahon, Nick Frisby, Christian Leali'ifano.

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