Three debutants in Australia team for England

Samu Kerevi will make his Wallabies debut on Saturday

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has named three debutants in his starting team to play England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

The three new Test players are Queensland Reds centre Samu Kerevi, Brumbies lock Rory Arnold and Western Force utility back Dane Haylett-Petty.

The last time Australia named three debutants in a team was three years ago in 2013 for the first Test against the British and Irish Lions.

Standing at a mammoth 208cm tall, Brumbies giant Rory Arnold will become the tallest man ever to wear the gold jersey when he runs out for his Test debut alongside 60-Test veteran Rob Simmons in the second row.

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika said: “This team of 2016 has a great opportunity to build on the foundations in place.

“We have a good mix of new blood and players who have been connected to the group for some time and the energy and enjoyment within the group has been excellent.

“The work ethic and application of every player in the squad shows just how much the Wallabies jersey means to each of them, and these 23 players know they represent the group when they run out on Saturday.”

Reds sensation Samu Kerevi has been handed the number 12 jersey and will team up with Brumbies powerhouse Tevita Kuridrani to form one of the most sizable centre pairings ever named for the Wallabies.

After a breakout 2016 Super Rugby campaign with the Western Force, Dane Haylett-Petty has secured a berth on the right wing, opposite the team’s newly-appointed vice-captain Rob Horne.

Cheika has named one more potential Test debutant on the bench, with Reds scrumhalf Nick Frisby to don the gold jersey for the first time in his home city, while new dad Christian Leali’ifano has been named in the match day 23 for the first time since November 2014 after joining the squad in Brisbane yesterday following the birth of his son.

Newly re-signed Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu returns from French Top 14 club Bordeaux-Begles on the reserves bench, alongside Harlequins lock and former Queensland Reds Captain James Horwill.

Stephen Moore will play his 103rd Test when he leads the Wallabies for the 12th time this Saturday, surpassing Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau (both on 102 Test caps) to become the fourth-most capped Wallaby of all time, behind fellow Wallabies Captains George Smith (111), Nathan Sharpe (116) and George Gregan (139). Moore will be deputised by vice-captains Michael Hooper and Rob Horne for the opening clash with England.


1. Scott Sio , 2. Stephen Moore (c) , 3. Greg Holmes , 4. Rory Arnold* , 5. Rob Simmons , 6. Scott Fardy , 7. Michael Hooper , 8. David Pocock , 9. Nick Phipps , 10. Bernard Foley , 11. Rob Horne (vc) , 12. Samu Kerevi* , 13. Tevita Kuridrani , 14. Dane Haylett-Petty* , 15. Israel Folau

Replacements: 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 17. James Slipper , 18. Sekope Kepu , 19. James Horwill , 20. Dean Mumm , 21. Sean McMahon , 22. Nick Frisby* , 23. Christian Leali’ifano

*denotes uncapped player

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