Petaia makes debut as Cheika rings the changes for Uruguay match

The teenager is the first player since 2007 to make his Wallabies test debut in a Rugby World Cup match.

TOKYO, 2 Oct - The 19-year-old winger Jordan Petaia will make his test debut for Australia against Uruguay with head coach Michael Cheika naming a revamped side for the Wallabies' third Pool D match on Saturday in Oita.

Petaia, pictured and who has long been touted as a future star of Australian rugby, returned to full training only this week but slots straight into a back three containing the recalled Kurtley Beale at full-back and utility man Dane Haylett-Petty who has been shifted on to the right wing.

Skipper Michael Hooper is one of just three men to keep his place in the starting XV for what recalled scrum-half Nic White has labelled a "do-or-die clash". Tight-head prop Allan Alaalatoa and Haylett-Petty are the only other survivors from the team beaten 29-25 by Wales in Tokyo.

Openside specialist Hooper will pack down next to number eight Jack Dempsey, who makes his first start of the campaign, and blindside flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – a mainstay of the Australia back row during the 2019 Rugby Championship. David Pocock, who started both of Australia's first two games after six months out injured, drops to the bench.

With Cheika keen to give all his squad a run-out, Folau Fainga'a comes in at hooker after not being in the match day 23 against Fiji and Wales, while the experienced James Slipper steps up from the bench to complete the front row. Rob Simmons wins his 99th cap in the second row alongside the 27-year-old Adam Coleman.

After impressing against both Fiji and Wales, Matt To'omua does get a chance to stake his claim from the start but the versatile man will do so from inside-centre with Christian Lealiifano renewing his half-back partnership with White. The experienced Tevita Kuridrani comes in at outside-centre to complete the picture.


1. James Slipper
2. Folau Fainga'a
3. Allan Alaalatoa
4. Rob Simmons
5. Adam Coleman
6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
7. Michael Hooper (capt.)
8. Jack Dempsey
9. Nicholas White
10. Christian Lealiifano
11. Jordan Petaia
12. Matt To'omua
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Dane Haylett-Petty
15. Kurtley Beale

16. Jordan Uelese
17. Sekope Kepu
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Rory Arnold
20. David Pocock
21. Will Genia
22. James O'Connor
23. Adam Ashley-Cooper

RNS ln/pp