Wallabies trio handed first starts against Springboks

Updated: 

Izack Rodda, Jack Dempsey and Marika Koroibete will make their first Australia Test starts against South Africa on Saturday.

Lock Rodda replaces Rob Simmons in the line-up to take on the Springboks in Bloemfontein, while flanker Dempsey is preferred to Ned Hanigan.

Koroibete also gets his chance from the start on the wing when the Rugby Championship resumes this weekend, so Henry Speight drops to the bench.

Former captain Stephen Moore is among the replacements instead of Jordan Uelese in the only other change made my Michael Cheika.

Cheika felt the time was right to give Rodda, Dempsey and Koroibete an opportunity from the start.

Asked about Rodda's inclusion, the Wallabies coach said: "I just thought I would give him a crack and give him a go,

"Simmons hasn't been poor in any way but maybe how we start, how we finish, it's going to be a big forward battle I would say. We'll unleash him out there when he's fresh and ready to go.

"I don't think there is any risk there because he has come off the bench and played well in two big games and I can't see why starting is any different - it's a step along the way."

He said of Dempsey: "I just thought we should change it up,

"Realistically he [Hanigan] should never have had to play seven games in a row from his debut when he wasn't even playing Super Rugby at the start of the year."

Koroibete made his debut off the bench in a victory over Argentina last time out and Cheika stated on his selection: "I just want to see him get that opportunity,

"He did well in the first game and now starting he will have a chance to prepare himself for the whole week and get ready. He still has a bit to work on in terms of finding his lines off set-pieces and things like that but defensively and his work-rate, and stuff like that, he's on the money."

 

Australia team: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper (captain), Sean McMahon.

Replacements [one to be omitted]: Stephen Moore, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Ned Hanigan, Nick Phipps, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight.