Tate McDermott to lead Australia in Dunedin game against New Zealand

Tate McDermott has been appointed Australia's captain
Tate McDermott has been appointed Australia's captain
©Steve Haag

Australia head coach Eddie Jones has appointed scrum-half Tate McDermott as the captain for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.

The decision follows after Allan Alaalatoa, who captained them in the previous game in Melbourne is ruled out with an Achilles injury. Michael Hooper and James Slipper, who were the official co-captains are not part of the weekend's encounter with the former still recovering from a calf injury.

Andrew Kellaway retains his position at fullback alongside Mark Nawaqanitawase and Marika Koroibete, who start at wings. Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia retain their midfield partnership with Carter Gordon getting another chance at fly-half.

Pone Fa’amausili replaces the injured Alaalatoa at front row while Richie Arnold returns back to second row to join Nick Frost.

The final change sees Tom Hooper shifted from openside to blindside with Richie Arnold replacing Will Skelton at back row.

“We need to regenerate the team. We’ve got our third captain in the Rugby Championship and plus,” Jones said.

“Watching him closely at Super Rugby level, he captains a young Reds team and now coming into the team as the starting nine, he’s got great potential, a calm head but shows good direction and the field and he’s got all the attributes of a good captain.”

Australia: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Tate McDermott (c), 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Fraser McReight, 6 Tom Hooper, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Pone Fa’amausili, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

Reserves: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 James Slipper, 18 Zane Nonggorr, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Rob Leota, 21 Nic White, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Izaia Perese