Rugby Championship News

Australia make three changes for South Africa




Australia head coach Michael Cheika has named his Wallabies team to play South Africa’s Springboks in a Rugby Championship match in Bloemfontein on Saturday./

Cheika has made three changes to his starting fifteen and three players are set to play in their first test in Bernard Foley’s 50th Test.

Rookie trio Izack Rodda, Jack Dempsey and Marika Koroibete are set for their first Test start as the Wallabies aim for just their second win in 54 years on South Africa’s highveld.

Vice-captain Bernard Foley will earn his 50th Test cap, four years on from his debut against Argentina in Rosario in 2013.

The flyhalf is now the fourth-highest points scorer in Wallabies history (499) after overtaking former skipper Stirling Mortlock in his 15-point outing against Argentina in Canberra a fortnight ago.

Saturday night’s clash could also mark a debut for Lukhan Tui, after the Queensland forward was named on an extended reserves bench.

Tui could become Wallaby 914, and the eleventh debutant of 2017, if the 21-year-old is selected on the finalised reserves bench by Michael Cheika and runs out in Bloemfontein.

Wallabies coach, Michael Cheika said: “Izack (Rodda) is young, he is eager and I want to give them these experiences so they can learn. I don’t think there is any risk there because he has come off the bench and played well in two big games and I can’t see why starting is any different. It’s a step along the way.”

“It’s a good opportunity for Jack (Dempsey) too and a good time now. He has had a couple of games off the bench and contributed well. It’s a good chance for him to start. It’ll be a fast track.

“Realistically, Ned (Hanigan) should never had to play seven games in a row from his debut when he wasn’t even playing Super Rugby at the start of the year. We could have given him a chance, taken him out, give him another chance and let him build. But he has done so well. It’s a different challenge for him this week.”

Australia are currently third on the Rugby Championship standings but will overtake South Africa with a win.


1. Scott Sio , 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau , 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Izack Rodda , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Jack Dempsey , 7. Michael Hooper (c) , 8. Sean McMahon, 9. Will Genia (vc), 10. Bernard Foley (vc) , 11. Reece Hodge, 12. Kurtley Beale, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Marika Koroibete , 15. Israel Folau ,

Replacements : 16. Stephen Moore , 17. Tom Robertson , 18. Allan Alaalatoa, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Ned Hanigan, 21. Lukhan Tui, 22. Nick Phipps, 23. Samu Kerevi , 24. Henry Speight

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