Sefa Naivalu named in Australia side to play New Zealand in Bledisloe III

Winger Sefa Naivalu will make his first Test appearance for Australia since June 2017 while Israel Folau gets his first start at centre in their third Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand in Yokohama on Saturday.

Veteran prop Sekope Kepu is set to earn his 100th Test cap after being named on the replacements bench for the Sky Live clash.

The All Blacks have already retained the trophy after winning the first two games of the series in Sydney and Auckland.

Folau had been tipped earlier in the week to get his first start wearing the Wallabies No 13 shirt when team-mate Samu Kerevi, who is returning from a bicep injury, said he would not be fit enough to play a full match.

Kerevi has subsequently been named on the bench.

Reece Hodge, who had slotted into the position during the Rugby Championship, suffered an ankle injury last week and was ruled out of the Wallabies’ end-of-season tour.

Live International Rugby Union

October 27, 2018, 6:30am

Live on

Folau has played most of his international rugby at full-back while for the last three Tests he has been on the wing, but has featured occasionally in the centres in Super Rugby.

With Folau moving into the midfield to partner Kurtley Beale, Naivalu was recalled to the right wing having not played for the Wallabies since facing Italy in Brisbane last June.

In the forwards, coach Michael Cheika’s plans have been dealt a blow with bruising lock Adam Coleman ruled out due to groin soreness. Rob Simmons will partner Izack Rodda in the second row instead.

Loose forward Jack Dempsey has earned a recall to the matchday squad for the first time in a year after he suffered a hamstring surgery in the corresponding Bledisloe Cup fixture last October.

Australia: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia; 1 Scott Sio, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4-Izack Rodda, 5-Rob Simmons, 6-Ned Hanigan, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 8 David Pocock,

Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Tom Banks.

Source: Read Full Article