Noah Lolesio to make Wallabies debut in Tri-Nations opener

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Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has been forced to turn to youth in the crucial number ten jersey with Noah Lolesio set to debut in their Tri-Nations opener and third Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks.

With James O’Connor and Matt To’omua ruled out through injury Rennie hands the jersey to uncapped Brumbies pivot Lolesio.

Lolesio gets Wallabies call

Lolesio will have a familiar face close by with fellow Brumbies youngster Irae Simone handed his first cap starting at inside centre.

“We’ve gone from 100 and something caps to zero,” Rennie told reporters on Thursday.

“Look, they’re a couple of guys who have played a lot of footy together. Irae’s been excellent. He’s a great communicator.

“We felt we missed some opportunities at Eden Park just through lack of talk, so he’s really strong with and without the ball in regard to our communication. He’s a big man, he can carry and got a good skill-set, kicks well, so we’re pretty excited by that and him playing outside Noah is going to help the young man. They’ve got a good combination and obviously Nic White is from the same club inside him.”

Picked to win

Rennie said that while this team was picked with one eye on the future, it was also selected to win.

“We’ve certainly got an eye for the future, but it’s also about winning on Saturday,” Rennie said.

“We’re going to get a lot better over time, but you’ve got to get results now too, and we’re well aware of the quality of the opposition, but it’s exciting for us.

“We’ve got some young men who have been tested and we’re learning lots, but there’s no reason why if we got out and play at our best on the weekend that we can’t get a win.”

Rennie’s Wallabies will need to learn from their mistakes across the Tasman if they are to start the Tri-Nations as they intend.

“We’ve seen where we think we’ve created opportunities for ourselves,” Rennie said.

“If the boys didn’t believe us after week one that if you turn the ball over against the All Blacks or kick loosely that you get punished (they do now). We’re well aware that if we kick, we need to be able to shut them down and apply pressure, if we’re attacking we need to be accurate, and you need to tackle well.

“All the things that we did pretty well in that first Test and we were competitive.

“There’s little areas that we think we can hopefully get some joy, but they’re a good side and both sides should be improving throughout this period.”

Australia face New Zealand on Saturday 31 October with kick-off at 10:45 (SAST).

WALLABIES TEAM VS NEW ZEALAND

1. James Slipper

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa

3. Allan Alaalatoa

4. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

5. Matt Philip

6. Ned Hanigan

7. Michael Hooper (c)

8. Harry Wilson

9. Nic White

10. Noah Lolesio*

11. Marika Koroibete

12. Irae Simone*

13. Jordan Petaia

14. Filipo Daugunu

15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements

16. Jordan Uelese

17. Scott Sio

18. Taniela Tupou

19. Rob Simmons

20. Fraser McReight*

21. Tate McDermott*

22. Reece Hodge

23. Hunter Paisami

*Wallabies debut

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