Rugby News

Rugby-Australia change two starters for second Bledisloe Cup test

WELLINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Australia coach Dave Rennie dropped number eight Pete Samu and hooker Folau Fainga’a on Friday as he made two changes to his starting side for Sunday’s second Bledisloe Cup test against New Zealand in Auckland.

There was no change to the backline which impressed in last weekend’s thrilling 16-16 draw against the All Blacks in Wellington but centre Jordan Petaia returned from a hip flexor injury to the bench.

Fainga’a, who had problems with his lineout throwing in the first test that proved costly to the Wallabies, was replaced by Brandon Paenga-Amosa who will win his fifth cap in the middle of the front row.

Ned Hanigan has been brought into the starting side at blindside flanker allowing Harry Wilson to shift to number eight in place of Samu, who has dropped out of the matchday squad.

In another change to the bench, Queensland Reds skipper Liam Wright replaces Rob Valetini as backrow cover. Young flyhalf Noah Lolesio also drops out of the squad to make way for Petaia.

Team: 15-Tom Banks, 14-Filipo Daugunu, 13-Hunter Paisami, 12-Matt Toomua, 11-Marika Koroibete, 10-James O’Connor, 9-Nic White, 8-Harry Wilson, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Ned Hanigan, 5-Matt Philip, 4-Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3-Taniela Tupou, 2-Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1-James Slipper

Replacements: 16-Jordan Uelese, 17-Scott Sio, 18-Allan Alaalatoa, 19-Rob Simmons, 20-Liam Wright, 21-Jake Gordon, 22-Jordan Petaia, 23-Reece Hodge

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Ed Osmond