Naivalu and Latu poised to debut for Wallabies

Naivalu and Latu poised to debut for Wallabies
Michael Cheika wants Australia to build momentum.
©PA

In-form hooker Tolu Latu and winger Sefa Naivalu are poised to debut for the Wallabies after being named in the 30-man tour squad for their final two Rugby Championship games against the Springboks and the Pumas.

Latu labored his way into the main-frame following a series of remarkable performances in the domestic National Rugby championship. The Waratahs man will replace seasoned hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who has also been struggling with an arm injury.

Coach Michael Cheika has brought down the axe on all the veterans who lacked match fitness. Winger Drew Mitchell, lock Will Skelton and back-rower Ben McCalman have all been left out.

Veteran winger Drew Mitchell, lock Will Skelton and back-rower Ben McCalman have all been left out due to a lack of recent match fitness.

Cheika expressed his disappointment at losing Tatafu, who has consistently performed for his side off the bench. However, Cheika believes that Latu needs to make the most of the given opportunity.

"It is disappointing for Tatafu, who has been one of the most consistent and valued members of our finishers off the bench, he needs time to get his body right and we respect that," coach Cheika said in a statement.

"With injury comes opportunity, and this is the opportunity now for Tolu to make his step up to international rugby."

Latu, who was selected in the Wallabies squad before, was not able to play after he breaking his arm.

Australia squad:

Forwards: Allan Ala'alatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, James Hanson, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu*, Sean McMahon, Stephen Moore, Dean Mumm, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Lopeti Timani.

Backs: Quade Cooper, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Tevita Kuridrani, Luke Morahan, Sefanaia Naivalu*, Nick Phipps, Henry Speight.

* uncapped player

 

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