Cheika names an un­changed team

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - SPORT -

RUGBY UNION: The Wal­la­bies have re­tained their win­ning line-up as they look to se­cure the three-Test se­ries against Ire­land to­mor­row night at Mel­bourne’s AAMI Park.

Coach Michael Cheika has shown faith af­ter their 18-9 vic­tory in game one in Bris­bane, nam­ing the same 23 in suc­ces­sive Tests for the first time in 46 matches and since tak­ing over the Australian coach­ing job in 2014.

“That was our first game of the sea­son and we had a rush and crammed a lot last week so I’d just like to give those guys an­other op­por­tu­nity to get out there and try and do bet­ter,” Cheika said yes­ter­day.

“We need to raise the bar on our­selves and on our own stan­dards this week to give our­selves a chance of win­ning the game.”

Cheika said there was a lot of com­pe­ti­tion for spots, par­tic­u­larly in the back­line from Te­vita Kuridrani, Jack Mad­docks and Cur­tis Rona, who all missed out.

Flanker Ned Hani­gan (knee in­jury) and lock Rory Arnold (sus­pen­sion) were un­able to force their way into the squad de­spite the Wal­la­bies per­sist­ing with a six-two split among the fin­ish­ers.

Ire­land last played the Wal­la­bies in Mel­bourne in 2008 when Aus­tralia won 18-12 in a tight tus­sle at Dock­lands.

Ire­land has over­hauled its team, mak­ing eight changes in­clud­ing the re­turn of su­per­star play­maker Johnny Sex­ton to the start­ing line-up. WAL­LA­BIES: Is­rael Fo­lau, Marika Koroi­bete, Samu Kerevi, Kurt­ley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty, Bernard Fo­ley, Will Ge­nia; Caleb Timu, Michael Hooper (capt), David Po­cock, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Scott Sio. Res: Tolu Latu, Tom Robert­son, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge.

Photo: Getty

Michael Cheika.

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