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Rugby:Kerevi, Rodda recalled to Wallabies for All Blacks test

MELBOURNE :Explosive centre Samu Kerevi and lock Izack Rodda are in line to play their first tests for Australia since the 2019 World Cup after being picked in Dave Rennie's side for the Rugby Championship clash against New Zealand on Sunday.

Japan-based Kerevi replaces the axed Matt Toomua at inside centre and Rodda is on the bench for the match at Perth Stadium, where Australia will hope to rebound from back-to-back thrashings by the All Blacks at Eden Park.

Kerevi is Rennie's first selection outside the 'Giteau Law' - the rule that bars overseas-based players with less than 60 test caps from representing Australia.

The 33-test dynamo will form a new midfield partnership with Len Ikitau, who has been promoted from the bench to replace Hunter Paisami.

"He’s a good student. He’s worked really hard to get his head around a lot of our structures," Rennie told reporters of Fiji-born Kerevi in Perth on Friday.

The Wallabies were hammered 57-22 in the second match at Eden Park last month as New Zealand secured the Bledisloe Cup, the annual trophy contested by the trans-Tasman nations, for a 19th successive year.

Rennie has largely kept the faith in that team, however, while being forced into changing his starting hooker due to a neck injury for Brandon Paenga-Amosa.

ACT Brumbies hooker Folau Fainga'a replaces Paenga-Amosa in his first call-up this season after being overlooked for the 2-1 series win over France.

Lachlan Lonergan takes replacement hooker Jordan Uelese's spot on the bench.

With experienced utility back Toomua dropped, Jordan Petaia has also been recalled to the bench along with loose forward Pete Samu, who has tipped Harry Wilson out of the side.

Australia trounced the All Blacks 47-26 at Perth Stadium in the leadup to the 2019 World Cup and have promised to hit back hard at the venue on Sunday after a "brutal review" of their Eden Park defeat.

"We’re a lot better side than that scoreline suggested," Rennie said of the Auckland loss.

"I can say whatever here but it’s what we do on the park on Sunday (that counts)."

Matchday squad:

15-Tom Banks, 14-Andrew Kellaway, 13-Len Ikitau, 12-Samu Kerevi, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-Noah Lolesio, 9-Tate McDermott, 8-Rob Valetini, 7-Michael Hooper, 6-Lachie Swinton, 5-Matt Philip, 4-Darcy Swain, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Folau Fainga'a, 1-James Slipper.

Replacements: 16-Lachlan Lonergan, 17-Angus Bell, 18-Taniela Tupou, 19-Izack Rodda, 20-Pete Samu, 21-Nic White, 22-Reece Hodge, 23-Jordan Petaia

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Michael Perry)

Source: Reuters


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