Simmons, Skelton return as Cheika makes three changes


With the possibility of a clean sweep on home soil against arch-rivals England hanging over Australia, head coach Michael Cheika has made three changes to his lineup for the third and final Test of the series.

England have already secured the series having beaten Australia in Brisbane and Melbourne but Cheika will hope his team can restore some pride in Sydney on Saturday.

Will Skelton and Matt Toomua both return for their first Tests of the season, with Rob Simmons back in the team after missing the Melbourne Test through injury.

Simmons will be a welcome return for the Wallabies' lock stocks, but Cheika said his focus remained on ensuring Australia played an attacking brand of rugby - albeit with more quality than they have produced in their last two outings.

"This Saturday's match against England is a real opportunity for the Wallabies to show the character I know they have on the field, for all our fans to see," he said.

"We will continue to play rugby in our attacking style and we'll be aiming to do it with more consistent quality than we have in the first two matches. 

"Will Skelton and Matt Toomua are back to full fitness and have worked extremely hard for their opportunity this Saturday."

Cheika has also named an extended bench which includes Taqele Naiyaravoro, who is looking to add to his one cap after making his debut against the United States last year when he scored a try on debut, while Western Force lock Adam Coleman is on the bench and could be Australia's first Tasmanian-born Test player.


Australia XV to face England: James Slipper, Stephen Moore (captain), Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Rob Horne, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani, Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau