Australia bleeds oldest debutant in 23 years in first test against England | Australia rugby team

The Wallabies have chosen their oldest debutant of this century to play against England on Saturday. 33-year-old Brumbies-lock Cadeyrn Neville will be packing for his first cap in the opening game of the highly anticipated three-Test series, as Australia strive to amplify their forward momentum to counter the touring squad’s primary strength.

Neville was first selected in an Australian squad ten years ago, but has never made it to the field until now. He is the oldest Wallaby to make his debut since Tiaan Strauss in 1999 and the third oldest since World War II, but his impact for the Brumbies in Super Rugby has earned him a deserved call-up.

“I watch ‘Nev’, 33 years old, but if you’ve seen him train, he’s a really good athlete,” said head coach Dave Rennie. “He’s a big man of 125kg, so very important to us from an established point of view because he’s very good at maul, lineout, scrum and from a perseverance point of view it’s a great story.”

The Japan-based trio of Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete also all feature in the starting XV for a match that could well set the tone for the entire series. Uncapped whore Dave Porecki, who spent four years with London Irish, has been given a call-up but a calf injury has ruled out prop Taniela Tupou for now.

Flanker Michael Hooper will lead his country for the 66th time, while the half-back pairing of Nic White and Cooper reunites for the first time since the Wallabies led to five consecutive Test wins in 2021. White and Neville are two of seven Brumbies players named by Rennie to start, with a further five from Australia’s best Super Rugby Pacific side on the bench.

“The lineout and maul are a huge part of the game now and you don’t have a real threat up front, it’s pretty easy to defend out there,” said Rennie. “If you have a good maul, teams have to spend some time thinking about how they’re going to defend that and they’ll have to use some instances to do that, which creates opportunities elsewhere.

“It’s an area we feel if we can overshadow England, then it gives us a chance to get our game going and give a little bit of warmth to the right side of the pitch. The Brumbies were clearly our best performing side, but we are picking individuals and we are very happy with the group. †

Australia have lost their last eight Tests against England since Eddie Jones took over as the red rose head coach, including a 3-0 series whitewash in 2016. However, lately they have shown signs of improvement under Rennie and also have quite the record. in Perth. They have only lost once in the eight Tests played in Western Australia since 2010.

Australia: Tom Banks, Andrew Kellaway, Len Ikitau, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (Captain), Rob Leota, Cadeyrn Neville, Darcy Swain, Allan Alaalatoa, David Porecki, Angus Bell.

Reserves: Sailing, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Matt Philip, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia.

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