Kellaway Returns For Ireland Blockbuster

Thu, Nov 17, 2022, 11:04 PM
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed his line-up to face Ireland, selecting Rebels star Andrew Kellaway at fullback.

Kellaway is one of several returning stars to face the top-ranked Irish following last week's defeat to Italy, with Rennie opting to keep Mark Nawaqnaitawase and Tom Wright on the wings.

"He's attacked very well for us at 15," Rennie said on Kellaway.

"We wanted to get Mark and Tom on the field and tossed up whether to play Tom or 'Kells' at fullback but it's very interchangeable. What we've got there is two guys that communicate very well and have a good understanding of our system, great work rates and kicking games which we think will be important.

"We think Mark has pushed his way into the reckoning and we want to explore that further. Jock (Campbell) was nowhere near his best on the weekend, he was crook late in the week, probably a bit flat on gameday. We still rate him, he's certainly still in the reckoning for Wales."

James Slipper regains the captaincy from Allan Alaalatoa, the pair joined by Dave Porecki in the front-row, whilst Nick Frost (ankle/illness) returns alongside Cadeyrn Neville. The consistent back-row trio of Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini complete the forward pack whilst Nic White will start at scrumhalf, with Jake Gordon set to come off the bench.

"We think it's important both those guys have strong kicking games and we expect difficult conditions on the weekend," Rennie explained on the scrumhalf battle.

"We're fortunate to have three quality scrum halves on tour but we think these two are the best suited for the Irish."

Will Skelton returns to the bench after starting against Italy, joined by the likes of Noah Lolesio, Pete Samu and Taniela Tupou.

It will be the first time the two sides face since 2018, with Rennie and the Wallabies hungry to bounce back after last week's defeat.

"We're still hurting from last week and the only way to do so is a response against the Irish," he believes.

"They're an excellent side who are very well coached and drilled. They have a lot of experience and players with 30+ Test caps with 150+ club games.

"They're a very good side but that's exciting to test ourselves against the top-ranked side in the world."

Wallabies team to play Ireland at Aviva Stadium, Ireland on Saturday 20 November, 8:00pm GMT/7:00am AEDT (Sunday)

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