Wallabies: Big guns return for Ireland showdown in Dublin

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Australia welcome back several of their first-choice players as they look to bounce back from defeat to Italy when they face Ireland on Saturday.

The shock of their first ever loss to the Azzurri will have been on their minds this week, but the Wallabies have a chance to respond at the Aviva Stadium.

In team news, Andrew Kellaway returns to start at full-back and is joined by Florence debutant Mark Nawaqanitawase and Tom Wright in the back three.

Midfield pairing back together

There is a settled midfield pairing with Hunter Paisami at inside centre and Len Ikitau outside in the 13 jersey, both playing their first Tests on Ireland soil.

Meanwhile, Nic White will play his 59th Test as he comes back in at scrum-half to partner Bernard Foley, who gets the nod at fly-half for the game in Dublin.

Up front, James Slipper captains the side in what is his 126th Test, linking up with David Porecki and last week’s skipper Allan Alaalatoa in the front-row.

There’s an all-Brumbies second-row combination as Cadeyrn Neville and Nick Frost pair up, with Will Skelton set to offer plenty of impact via the bench.

Finally, the back-row of Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini are reunited in what promises to be a fascinating battle with their opposite numbers.

On the bench is hooker Folau Fainga’a and props Tom Robertson and Taniela Tupou, who will also add plenty on the field when his services are called upon.

The same can be said of back-row Pete Samu, who is the final forward replacement, with Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio and Jordan Petaia the backline options.

Facing the number one team

“We dealt with it early in the week,” Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said of the Italy result. “You’ve got to look forward but you can’t just shelve that performance.

“Because of our travel arrangements, we had our review in Florence.

“We’ve had a couple of team meetings, we’ve reflected on where we need to be this week and the boys have prepared well.

“We’re trying to put our best team on the field against the number one team in the world.”

Australia: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Nick Frost, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Jordan Petaia

Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: James Doleman (New Zealand), Tual Trainini (France)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

READ MORE: Ireland: Stuart McCloskey and Jimmy O’Brien handed opportunity against Australia

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