Hunter Paisami returns to Australia line up for clash against Japan

Australia head coach Dave Rennie
Australia head coach Dave Rennie

Australia head coach Dave Rennie has recalled Hunter Paisami in the line up for the upcoming encounter against Japan to be played in Oita on Saturday.

Paisami last featured for the Wallabies during the Bledisloe Cup game in Auckland as he was granted a paternity leave. He now takes the place of Samu Kerevi, who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

There are also further changes to the starting line up with Tom Wright starting at right wing with Jordan Petaia dropping to the bench while back row sees a couple of changes with Rob Valetini and Rob Leota joining skipper Michael Hooper.

The second row also sees a change with Darcy Swain replaced by Matt Philip while Connal McInerney is set to make his debut for the Wallabies when he comes off the bench.

“While it’s disappointing for Samu not to be able to play in Japan, Hunter started the first five Tests this year prior to the birth of his daughter and is chomping at the bit for another opportunity,” Rennie said in a statement.

“Connal’s strong set piece and all-around game has earned him a chance to represent his country, which is a proud moment for him and his family.

“We’ve got a huge amount of respect for the Brave Blossoms who are now competitive with the best sides in the world.

Australia XV: 15 Reece Hodge, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Andrew Kellaway, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Rob Leota, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper

Reserves: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Darcy Swain, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Jordan Petaia