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Kellaway and Leota to start in Saturday’s season opener against England

Thu, 30/06/2022, 3:09 am
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media
Three Melbourne Rebels have been selected in Dave Rennie’s Match Day 23 for Saturday’s opening Test against England at Optus Stadium.
Three Melbourne Rebels have been selected in Dave Rennie’s Match Day 23 for Saturday’s opening Test against England at Optus Stadium.

Three Melbourne Rebels have been selected in Dave Rennie’s Match Day 23 for Saturday’s opening Test against England at Optus Stadium.

Reigning Wallabies’ Rookie of the Year Andrew Kellaway has been named on the right wing and will be joined in the Starting XV by Burn Boy Rob Leota, in what will be the twenty-five-year-old’s seventh game for the Wallabies.

Rebels’ vice-captain Matt Philip will provide second-row reinforcement.

Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed Dave Porecki and Cadeyrn Neville will make their national debuts, with Neville set to become the third-oldest debutant since World War II, partnering Brumbies teammate Darcy Swain in the second row.

Meanwhile, Porecki caps his own remarkable journey, partnering Waratahs teammate Angus Bell and Brumbies tighthead Allan Alaalatoa in the front-row.

“The whole squad has worked hard over the past fortnight for what's going to be a tough three-Test series against a very good England side," Rennie said in a statement.

"Earning their first caps is a proud occasion for David, Cadeyrn and their families, with both men taking a unique journey to realise their dream of wearing the Wallabies jersey.

Michael Hooper will once again captain the side, joining a settled backrow in Rob Leota and Rob Valetini.

Meanwhile, Japanese-based trio Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete make their returns after missing the Spring Tour.

Cooper partners with the experienced Nic White in the halves whilst Samu Kerevi reunites with Len Ikitau in the centres.

Koroibete slots back onto the wing alongside 2021 Rookie of the Year Andrew Kellaway, with Tom Banks retaining his spot at the back.

New Force hooker Folau Fainga'a will get his chance to impress his home crowd, selected on the reserves alongside Scott Sio

James Slipper will cover tighthead after Taniela Tupou failed to overcome a calf injury suffered during Super Rugby Pacific.

He is joined by Brumbies teammate Noah Lolesio and Jake Gordon, who beat out James O'Connor and Tate McDermott respectively for spots on the bench.

Wallabies team to play England at Optus Stadium, Perth on Saturday 2 July, 5:55pm AWST

1. Angus Bell (16 Tests)

2. David Porecki*

3. Allan Alaalatoa (53 Tests)

4. Darcy Swain (10 Tests)

5. Cadeyrn Neville*

6. Rob Leota (6 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (118 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (18 Tests)

9. Nic White (47 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (75 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (42 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (38 Tests)

13. Len Ikitau (13 Tests)

14. Andrew Kellaway (13 Tests)

15. Tom Banks (19 Tests)

Replacements

16. Folau Fainga’a (25 Tests)

17. Scott Sio (69 Tests)

18. James Slipper (114 Tests)

19. Matt Philip (20 Tests)

20. Pete Samu (19 Tests)

21. Jake Gordon (10 Tests)

22. Noah Lolesio (9 Tests)

23. Jordan Petaia (16 Tests)

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