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Wallabies take a risk, replace Quade Cooper with rookie flyhalf

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Wallabies Make Big Change Ahead of All Blacks Test

Eddie Jones has made a big call as he selected rookie Carter Gordon at flyhalf at the expense of the experienced Quade Cooper in the Wallabies starting lineup for Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks.

Australia are be desperate for a win having lost their opening two Rugby Championship Tests against the Springboks and Argentina respectively. Borne out of that desperation is Jones’ decision to overhaul his team with seven changes.

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ALSO READ: New captain to lead All Blacks in Bledisloe battle against Wallabies

Of those changes, the biggest is that of 22-year-old Gordon displacing veteran Cooper as the team’s playmaker.

Gordon will partner up with Tate McDermott, who cracked the nod at scrumhalf ahead of another stalwart halfback Nic White.

Staying in the backline, Jordan Petaia returns at outside centre after a long injury lay-off and will partner with Samu Kerevi in the midfield.

Andrew Kellaway will also play his first Test of the year at fullback alongside Marika Koroibete and Mark Nawaqanitawase on the wings.

ALSO READ: Wallabies beating All Blacks would be a massive favour for Springboks

Jones also dropped the Wallabies co-captain James Slipper, opting for Angus Bell to anchor the scrum alongside fellow front rowers David Porecki and Allan Alaalatoa. That means neither of the Wallabies’ two co-captains are in the starting 15 (Michael Hooper is injured) and that Alaalatoa takes over the captaincy.

Lock Nick Frost returns to the second row alongside Will Skelton, while Tom Hooper, who missed the last Test with a shoulder injury, is back at openside flanker in a new-look back row that features Jed Holloway at blindside flanker and Rob Valetini at No 8.


Commenting on his team selections and what he wants out of the game, Jones said all he wants is for the team to deliver a performance they can be proud of.

“We are a team that wants to make Australia proud, and Saturday night is a great opportunity to light up the MCG,” said Jones. “A young starting 15 and vibrant, experienced finishers will give us the 80 minutes we want.”


Wallabies lineup for July 2023 Test against All Blacks
The Wallabies team to play against the All Blacks. Photo: Rugby Australia via Twitter
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