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Nabuli handed Wallabies debut in Scotland test
June 15, 2017 / 4:34 AM / 5 months ago

Nabuli handed Wallabies debut in Scotland test

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia coach Michael Cheika made one change from the starting side that beat Fiji last week for Saturday’s test against Scotland, handing Fiji-born Eto Nabuli his debut on the left wing.

Britain Rugby Union - England v Australia - 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Series - Twickenham Stadium, London, England - 3/12/16 Australia head coach Michael Cheika before the match Reuters / Stefan Wermuth Livepic

The 28-year-old comes into the side in place of the injured Henry Speight, who was also born in Fiji, and takes to three the tally of former rugby league players in the team along with Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt.

Nabuli has less pedigree in the 13-man code than his new Wallabies team mates but did represent Fiji twice before moving to union with the Queensland Reds last year.

Cheika retained Michael Hooper as captain when he names his side on Thursday after he led Australia to a 37-14 victory over Fiji with squad skipper Stephen Moore reduced once more to hoping for a spot among the as yet unnamed replacements.

Hunt, who plays at fullback in Super Rugby, has been retained as a second playmaker at inside centre after a solid debut in Melbourne.

Blindside flanker Ned Hanigan will also win a second cap, while usual starting loosehead prop Scott Sio looks like making his return from knee injury off the bench with Tom Robertson retaining the number one shirt.

Australia round out their June international campaign against Italy in Brisbane next week after the meeting with the Scots, who beat the Wallabies in Newcastle on their last trip Down Under in 2012.

Australia: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Dane Haylett-Petty, 13-Tevita Kuridrani, 12-Karmichael Hunt, 11-Eto Nabuli, 10-Bernard Foley, 9-Will Genia, 8-Scott Higginbotham, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-Ned Hanigan, 5-Adam Coleman, 4-Sam Carter, 3-Allan Alaalatoa, 2-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1-Tom Robertson

Replacements: To be confirmed

Compiled by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien

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