Wallabies abroad: Premiership debuts for Aussie duo

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Capped Wallaby duo Dave Dennis and Greg Holmes are set to make their Premiership debuts this weekend, as the UK competitions kicks off.

Holmes and Dennis will make their Exeter debuts on Monday morning (AEST), both coming off the bench in the Chiefs’ clash against Wasps.

Dennis’s former Waratahs teammate Kurtley Beale will be a sideline observer, still working his way back from the knee injury that ended his Super Rugby season.

Peter Betham played at outside centre for Leicester, as they pulled off a stunning comeback to notch a 38-31 win over Gloucester in the opening round of the Premiership.

After trailing 31-7 in the 45th minute, the Tigers piled on 31 unanswered points to snatch the victory.

Cooper Vuna will start on the left wing for Worcester against defending champions Saracens, playing alongside former NRL star Ben Te’o.

Former Wallabies skipper James Horwill will start in the second row for Harlequins against Bristol, with former Samoa international and Waratahs back Alofa Alofa making his debut off the bench.


The Wild Knights notched a win on Friday night. Photo: Panasonic Wild KnightsBerrick Barnes starred in his first game of the season for Panasonic, scoring 20 of the Wild Knights’ 30 points in their win over Kobe Steel.

His inside centre selection was a shift from his usual spot at flyhalf, with coach Robbie Deans handing Takuya Yamazawa the playmaking lead for the second week, but that didn’t stop Barnes.

Former Queensland Reds lock Daniel Heenan played in the second row for the Wild Knights.

Scott Higginbotham played at number eight for the NEC Green Rockets, going up against All Blacks veteran Liam Messam in the back row in a 25-8 loss to Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Capped Wallabies back Sam Norton-Knight was on the bench for NEC but wasn’t given any game time.

Wallabies legend George Smith will play his first game of the season for Suntory Sungoliath against Honda Heat, starting at blindside flanker alongside future Queensland teammate Hendrik Tui, who will play number eight.

Winger Digby Ioane will line up on the left wing for the Heat, as they look for their first win of the  season.

Anthony Fainga’a will start at outside centre for the Kintetsu Liners against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks, with both teams winless after round one.

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Mike Harris will steer Lyon from the chief playmaking spot this weekend, after being named at flyhalf.

After playing at outside centre last weekend, Harris has been shifted to 10 for the first time, for their clash against Grenoble.

Matt Giteau underwent ankle surgery earlier this week and is beginning a long road to full fitness, tweeting about his fitness on Friday.

Liam Gill will come off the bench for Toulon against Brive, after starting at openside last weekend, while ex-Waratahs and Brumbies back Matt Carraro will make his Toulon debut on the right wing.

Bordeaux and Montpellier will clash on Monday morning (AEST), with teams yet to be named.