September 7, 2017 / 6:51 AM / 3 months ago

Uelese set for debut, Australia lose Haylett-Petty

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian hooker Jordan Uelese looks likely to make his test debut at the age of 20 against South Africa in Perth on Saturday after being named on the bench for the Rugby Championship clash on Thursday.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika made four changes to his starting line-up from the team that almost beat the All Blacks two weeks ago, one enforced after winger Dane Haylett-Petty was ruled out for the rest of the season by injury.

Cheika overhauled his front row with Tatafu Polota-Nau starting at hooker in place of former captain Stephen Moore, who dropped out of the squad to be at the birth of his third child.

That cleared the way for hulking former under-20 international Uelese to take a place on the bench after impressing Cheika with his attitude throughout the post-Super Rugby training camp.

Adam Coleman returns to the second row after being a late withdrawal from the side that lost 35-29 to New Zealand in Dunedin because of a shoulder injury.

Outside back Reece Hodge will play his 16th test on the wing in place of Haylett-Petty, who will be sidelined until December after electing to have surgery on a torn bicep.

Haylett-Petty played through the injury in Dunedin having missed the 54-34 humbling at the hands of the world champions in Sydney which opened the Rugby Championship last month.

Centre Samu Kerevi returns on the bench after being dropped in the wake of a poor defensive display in that match with Cheika later saying he had been rushed back from injury too soon.

Team: 15-Israel Folau, 14-Henry Speight, 13-TevitaKuridrani, 12-Kurtley Beale, 11-Reece Hodge, 10-Bernard Foley,9-Will Genia, 8-Sean McMahon, 7-Michael Hooper (captain), 6-NedHanigan, 5-Adam Coleman, 4-Rory Arnold, 3-Sekope Kepu,2-Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1-Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16-Jordan Uelese, 17-Tom Robertson,18-Allan Alaalatoa, 19-Rob Simmons, 20-Jack Dempsey, 21-Nick Phipps, 22-Samu Kerevi, 23-Curtis Rona.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Greg Stutchbury

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