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Rona to debut for Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup

17 augustus 2017 06:43

Rugby League convert Curtis Rona will make his debut for the Wallabies in their Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks as Kurtley Beale returns.

Australia head coach Michael Cheika named former NRL star Curtis Rona in his squad for Saturday's clash against New Zealand in Sydney after Dane Haylett-Petty succumbed to a bicep injury.

Rona impressed during his first full season in Super Rugby, starring for the Western Force, who have since been culled by SANZAAR as the competition is scaled back from 18 to 15 teams.

The 25-year-old New Zealand-born player will now line up on the left wing against the world champions at ANZ Stadium.

The weekend's Rugby Championship opener will also see the return of Beale.

Beale – who will partner Samu Kerevi in the centres – is set to play for the Wallabies for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, wearing the number 12 jersey.

Australia's backline will feature Beale, Bernard Foley and Israel Folau.

Sean McMahan gets the nod ahead of Lopeti Timani, while Henry Speight will start on the right wing in the absence of the injured Sefa Naivalu, who was hurt in June's Test against Italy.

 

Australia team to face New Zealand: Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Curtis Rona, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Stephen Moore, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Lopeti Timani, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge, Tevita Kuridrani.

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