Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Australia make three changes for third Test against England

Leicester-bound Matt Toomua has been selected at inside centre as one of three changes to Australia's starting XV for the final Test against England on Saturday.

Toomua has ousted Samu Kerevi after completing his recovery from a knee problem and gives the Wallabies an extra playmaking option, an element of their game that had been missing with Kerevi and Tevita Kuridrani in midfield.

Will Skelton is recalled in the second row where he joins Rob Simmons - Australia's third new partnership at lock in three Tests.

Head coach Michael Cheika said: "Toomua came back and we probably could have spun him out last week, but he needed more running in his legs.

"There's a long way to go yet in this season so I didn't want to burn him early. He's an experienced player, he plays in that role as second playmaker for us, so it was a logical choice.

"Even though Skelton's been playing, he's been playing with a shoulder injury. He hasn't been able to show us his best yet this season.

"We've put him through some hard work during two or three weeks we've been together. He's a big guy, if he's not at that level of fitness he can't play international footy.

"Rob was stung by being left out of the team and he fully understood the areas I wanted him to improve on.

"He's bitten back at training and that warrants an opportunity for him, considering his track record and how much he's done in the Australian jersey up until now."

Australia team to play England in third Test: I Folau (Waratahs); D Haylett-Petty (Western Force), T Kuridrani (Brumbies), M Toomua (Brumbies), R Horne (Waratahs); B Foley (Waratahs), N Phipps (Waratahs); J Slipper (Reds) S Moore (Brumbies, capt), S Kepu (Waratahs), W Skelton (Waratahs), R Simmons (Reds), S Fardy (Brumbies), M Hooper (Waratahs), S McMahon (Rebels). Replacements (one to be omitted): T Polota-Nau (Waratahs), S Sio (Brumbies), G Holmes (Reds), A Coleman (Force), D Mumm (Waratahs), W Palu (Waratahs), N Frisby (Reds), C Leali'ifano (Brumbies), T Naiyaravoro (Waratahs).

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph