Australia make eight changes for Bledisloe Cup game against New Zealand

Bernard Foley is named at fly-half for the Melbourne game
Bernard Foley is named at fly-half for the Melbourne game

Australia head coach Dave Rennie has made eight changes to the starting line up for the Bledisloe Test game against New Zealand to be played at Marvel Stadium on Thursday.

Bernard Foley returns to the XV and takes the fly-half role forming halfback partnership with Jake Gordon with veteran Nic White on the bench joined by Reece Hodge.

Andrew Kellaway takes Hodge's position at fullback while Tom Wright and Marika Koroibete are at wings. The midfield also sees a change with Lalakai Foketi replacing Hunter Paisami to join Len Ikitau.

James Slipper leading the side is set to become the third most capped Australian player and is joined in the front row by Allan Alaalatoa and David Porecki.

The absence of Rory Arnold sees Jed Holloway shifting to second row joining Matt Philip with Rob Leota and Pete Samu drafted into the back row.

“It’s great to have Bernard’s experience and he brings plenty of voice and passion for the gold jersey,” said Rennie.

“New Zealand showed their class in a massive win over Argentina last week and will come to Melbourne full of confidence.

“We’re well aware of the opportunity in front of us over the next fortnight and we’re extremely motivated to make the most of it.”

Australia XV: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Pete Samu, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (c)

Reserves: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Pone Fa’amausili, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Nic White, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Jordan Petaia.