Rory Arnold, Dane Haylett-Petty and Samu Kerevi will all make their Test debuts after they were named in the Wallabies’ run-on side for the opening Test with England in Brisbane on Saturday night.
And Queensland Reds half-back Nick Frisby could join them after he was named as Nick Phipps’ back-up on the bench.
The promotion of Brumbies rookie Arnold appears the biggest surprise, the towering lock joining chief lineout caller Rob Simmons in the second-row.
Rory Arnold Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Kerevi got the nod ahead of Christian Leali’ifano with Cheika opting for a ball-running option at No.12, rather than a second distributor, while Haylett-Petty won the battle to replace Adam Ashley-Cooper on the right wing.
Haylett-Petty is joined in the back three by Rob Horne and Israel Folau, Cheika resisting the urge to move the superstar full-back to outside centre where he has been playing with the Waratahs.
“This team of 2016 has a great opportunity to build on the foundations in place,” Cheika said via and Australian Rugby Union media release.
“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.”
Wallabies squad to face England:
Israel Folau; Dan 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, Scott Sio. Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, James Horwill, Dean Mumm, Sean McMahon, Nick Frisby, Christian Leali’ifano
Source Article from http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/16058434/wallabies-name-four-debutants-opening-test-england-brisbane
Cheika bloods four rookies for England opener
ESPN.com – RUGBY