2022-06-30 03:34:00

The Dan McKellar effect is taking full force, with only one Queensland Reds player picked in the Wallabies’ first Test team of the year.

Instead, Dave Rennie has rewarded McKellar’s Brumbies for their strong season by naming 12 players from Australia’s best performing Super Rugby franchise of the in his squad to take on England in Perth on Saturday.

Reds halves Tate McDermott and James O’Connor, the latter who missed the majority of the trans-Tasman crossover, have both missed selection.

As has No.8 Harry Wilson, who was left off last year’s Spring Tour, with Rob Valetini shifting to the back of the scrum. Rob Leota, who is one of three Rebels in the squad, has been named at blindside flanker as forecast.

Reds star Taniela Tupou was ruled out with injury.

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Reds stars Tate McDermott and James O’Connor have both been left out of the Wallabies’ first team of the year. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

As written, Cadeyrn Neville will become the oldest Wallaby to make their Test debut since WWII as he combines with his Brumbies teammate Darcy Swain in the second-row.

Those north of the border will cry foul, but the Reds were the only Australian franchise to not beat a New Zealand opponent this season and their players have paid the price.

The selection of Noah Lolesio ahead of O’Connor is an interesting one.

O’Connor’s lack of recent match practice was a reasonable concern, but he is fit and is experienced and can cover multiple positions.

But with every passing day it looks more and more likely that one of O’Connor or recalled playmaker Quade Cooper won’t make it to next year’s World Cup in France.

Both playmakers are well into their 30s and, in the case of O’Connor, injuries are catching up on them.

Rennie would not have selected Lolesio, 22, were he not ready – and he finished the season in career best form for the Brumbies – but his selection also points towards getting more game time in the rising playmaker.

Noah Lolesio and Quade Cooper will act as the Wallabies’ playmakers. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

McDermott’s axing is more curious.

The Reds No.9 has the best running game in Australia and his defence and one-on-one tackles are often overlooked.

But his lack of pass, size, kicking game and ability to control a game remain work-ons.

Rennie has instead opted for the bigger frame of Jake Gordon off the bench, who had his best season and was crucial to the Waratahs’ revival.

Tom Banks has kept the No.15 jersey despite the fact he will move to Japan at season’s end, while Andrew Kellaway will play on the right wing with Marika Koroibete on the other.

Cooper and Nic White form the halves, with Samu Kerevi and Len Ikitau resurrecting their midfield combination.

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Wallabies forward Rob Leota has been included in the back-row alongside Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

All but one of the tight-five are made up of Brumbies players, with Waratahs hooker Dave Porecki to make his debut.

The Brumbies make up the majority of the bench too, with Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio and James Slipper the replacement front-row.

McKellar, who spoke to the media earlier in the week, said the Wallabies have to take England on up front and with Brumbies littered throughout the pack they plan on taking their strong Super Rugby form and injecting it onto the world stage.

“You’ve got to take them on, haven’t you?” he said.

“You’ve got to understand that you can’t shy away from where the challenge is coming on, and we know that.

“It’s been part of English rugby DNA for forever and a day that set-piece and physicality and brutality is important, and it’s certainly going to be important for our pack.

“We know that for us to win this game we’ve got to win the collisions and we’ve got to look to dominate at set-piece. It’s as simple as that.

“They’re world class and it’s a real challenge for us. If we do that you give the likes of the players we have in the backline to really shine and dominate.”

Matt Philip will act as the replacement second-row option, while Pete Samu’s versatility has seen him picked ahead of Wilson.

Utility back Jordan Petaia is the lone Red in the squad.

“The whole squad has worked hard over the past fortnight for what’s going to be a tough three-Test series against a very good England side,” Rennie said.

“Earning their first caps is a proud occasion for David, Cadeyrn and their families, with both men taking a unique journey to realise their dream of wearing the Wallabies jersey.

“The honour of representing our country is a massive motivating factor and we’ll be doing everything we can to put in a performance that makes all Australians proud.”

Wallabies team

1. Angus Bell (16 Tests)

2. David Porecki*

3. Allan Alaalatoa (53 Tests)

4. Darcy Swain (10 Tests)

5. Cadeyrn Neville*

6. Rob Leota (6 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (118 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (18 Tests)

9. Nic White (47 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (75 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (42 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (38 Tests)

13. Len Ikitau (13 Tests)

14. Andrew Kellaway (13 Tests)

15. Tom Banks (19 Tests)

Replacements

16. Folau Fainga’a (25 Tests)

17. Scott Sio (69 Tests)

18. James Slipper (114 Tests)

19. Matt Philip (20 Tests)

20. Pete Samu (19 Tests)

21. Jake Gordon (10 Tests)

22. Noah Lolesio (9 Tests)

23. Jordan Petaia (16 Tests)

*denotes uncapped

#Team #news #Queensland #Reds #snubbed #James #OConnor #Quade #Cooper #Dave #Rennie

Source by [graycupnews.com]

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