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Four first timers as Wallabies stare down All Blacks

Four first-time Wallabies will take on the All Blacks on Sunday as new coach Dave Rennie tries to end a 18-year Bledisloe Cup drought. In the first international rugby Test since March, the Wallabies will attempt to show “brotherhood and connection” against New Zealand in Wellington on Sunday afternoon.All up there are 10 players with…

Four first-time Wallabies will take on the All Blacks on Sunday as new coach Dave Rennie tries to end a 18-year Bledisloe Cup drought.

In the first international rugby Test since March, the Wallabies will attempt to show “brotherhood and connection” against New Zealand in Wellington on Sunday afternoon.

All up there are 10 players with less than 10 Tests in Rennie’s matchday 23

In captain Michael Hooper’s 100th Test, 20-year-old Queensland Reds flanker Harry Wilson will cap off a remarkable 2020 when he makes his debut in the number six jersey.

Wilson will be joined in the starting XV Reds teammates Hunter Paisami who will make his debut at outside centre with speedster Filipo Daugunu also earning his first gold jersey on the wing.

Noah Lolesio is the other debutante, starting on the bench.

After two years in the Test wilderness, Melbourne Rebels Matt Philip will add to his three caps when he takes his place in the second row with the dynamic Pete Samu playing his first Test since 2018.

World Cup starter Nic White will partner James O’Connor in the halves.

Test centurion Rob Simmons will be called upon as cover in the second row with Rob Valetini in line for his second appearance in the gold jersey and first against New Zealand.

The zippy Jake Gordon is another set to wear the Wallabies jumper for a second time, while the Brumbies Super Rugby AU winning fly half Noah Lolesio is poised to make his Test debut from the pine.

Utility back Reece Hodge rounds out the matchday 23.

“It’s a privilege for me to be able to announce the first Australian side of the year and especially to name a number of players who will wear the gold jersey for the first time,” Rennie said.

“I’ve been impressed with how quickly the squad has come together. There’s a good group of men here and the last three weeks has given us a chance to work hard and learn more about each other.

“We need to demonstrate that brotherhood and connection on Sunday.”

Wallabies v New Zealand

Sky Stadium, Wellington on Sunday 11 October, 4:00pm NZDT/2:00pm AEDT

1. James Slipper (96 Tests)

2. Folau Fainga’a (12 Tests)

3. Taniela Tupou (19 Tests)

4. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (21 Tests)

5. Matt Philip (3 Tests)

6. Harry Wilson*

7. Michael Hooper (c) (99 Tests)

8. Pete Samu (9 Tests)

9. Nic White (31 Tests)

10. James O’Connor (52 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (28 Tests)

12. Matt To’omua (52 Tests)

13. Hunter Paisami*

14. Filipo Daugunu*

15. Tom Banks (6 Tests)

Replacements

16. Jordan Uelese (9 Tests)

17. Scott Sio (63 Tests)

18. Allan Alaalatoa (35 Tests)

19. Rob Simmons (100 Tests)

20. Rob Valetini (1 Test)

21. Jake Gordon (1 Test)

22. Noah Lolesio*

23. Reece Hodge (39 Tests)

*denotes uncapped

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