Cheika names an unchanged team
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.