Australia confirm matchday squad for Bledisloe Cup opener against New Zealand

Jordan Petatia returns to Australian line up
Jordan Petatia returns to Australian line up
©Steve Haag

Australia head coach Dave Rennie has confirmed the matchday squad for the Bledisloe Cup opener against New Zealand to be played at Eden Park on Saturday.

Winger Marika Koroibete, number eight Isi Naisarani and prop Pone Fa'amausili was dropped from the game following a breach in team protocols as they were found to have been drinking alcohol beyond the allotted the time.

Jordan Petaia, who missed the series against France due to injury has returned to right wing with Andrew Kellaway at left and Tom Banks is slotted at fullback.

Len Ikitau and Hunter Paisami form midfield partnership while Noah Lolesio takes the kicking responsibility with James O'Connor on the sidelines while Tate McDermott starts at scrum-half. The front row comprises of James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Allan Alaalatoa.

With Lachie Swinton recovering from an ankle injury, Rob Valetini comes at back row that also has skipper Michael Hooper and Harry Wilson.

“As a group we couldn’t be more excited about the challenge of taking on New Zealand at Eden Park, a place they’re expected to win whenever they play there,” Rennie said in a statement.

“We’ve had a strong week on the training field and the team is in good shape heading to Auckland.

“We have a great opportunity to show how tight we are as a group on Saturday night and create our own history in the Wallabies jersey.”

Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Jordan Petaia, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper

Reserves: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Reece Hodge