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Rugby: Wallaby Petaia recalled for All Blacks test at Eden Park

MELBOURNE: Jordan Petaia has been recalled to the Wallabies for his first test of the season, replacing the suspended Marika Koroibete on the wing for the Bledisloe Cup opener against the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday (Aug 7).

Andrew Kellaway also starts on the wing in the matchday squad released on Thursday, among four changes to the starting 15 that beat France 33-30 in Brisbane last month.

Koroibete, number eight Isi Naisarani and prop Pone Fa'amausili were all ruled out of selection after breaking a team curfew during a drinking session at their Auckland hotel last weekend.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has recalled Harry Wilson to replace Naisarani and dropped Lachie Swinton in favour of blindside flanker Rob Valetini in a rejigged back row.

Australia edged a depleted France 2-1 in the July series but face a different beast against the All Blacks, who they have not beaten at Eden Park in 35 years.

"As a group we couldn’t be more excited about the challenge of taking on New Zealand at Eden Park, a place they’re expected to win whenever they play there," said Rennie in a team release.

"We've had a strong week on the training field and the team is in good shape heading to Auckland. We have a great opportunity to show how tight we are as a group on Saturday night and create our own history in the Wallabies jersey.”

New Zealand have held the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the trans-Tasman nations, since 2003.

Matchday squad:

15-Tom Banks, 14-Jordan Petaia, 13-Len Ikitau, 12-Hunter Paisami, 11-Andrew Kellaway, 10-Noah Lolesio, 9-Tate McDermott, 8-Harry Wilson, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Rob Valetini, 5-Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4-Darcy Swain, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1-James Slipper.

Replacements: 16-Jordan Uelese, 17-Angus Bell, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Matt Philip, 20-Fraser McReight, 21-Jake Gordon, 22-Matt To’omua, 23-Reece Hodge.


(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters


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