Moore set to be given home Test farewell

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Stephen Moore looks set to be given a home Test farewell against the All Blacks in Brisbane this Saturday.

Moore has come off the bench in the past two Wallabies Tests, but there was speculation the 34-year-old might be overlooked in favour of youngster Jordan Uelese, for Saturday’s final Bledisloe clash.

Departing Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma gave the strongest indication yet that Moore would receive his farewell, speaking on Tuesday morning.

Ledesma said Moore deserved to have a final outing on home soil.

“What better farewell than for Stephen to come out there in front of his hometown and win a game against the All Blacks,” he said.

“I cannot imagine a better finish in Australia and he really deserves it.

“He’s been serving the country and the gold jersey for a long, long, time now and to be 34 after 124 Tests, and being still an important part of a Wallabies [team], is a huge, huge achievement.

“We will do everything to give him a good farewell.

“Not only us, but the players and the public should be thinking about the same thing. Legacy is important. Giving that to Stephen is important.

“It would be a good thing from the team to do everything to do that."

Moore is likely to join the Wallabies on Spring Tour before retiring from Tests at the end of 2017, and playing a final season with the Reds in 2018.

There will be at least one change to the Wallabies’ 23 for Saturday’s clash, with Izack Rodda ruled out with season-ending shoulder surgery, putting Rob Simmons in the frame to return to the starting second row alongside Adam Coleman.

Rory Arnold sat out training on Tuesday afternoon, after suffering a cork to his knee in last Saturday’s NRC match, but is expected to be fit for the third Bledisloe clash.

With Arnold’s lighter load combined with season-ending surgery for Izack Rodda gave Reds rookie Harry Hockings a chance to experience Wallabies training, drafted in to fill out the complement.

Ledesma said Rodda’s decision to opt for surgery may hurt the Wallabies in the immediate term, but ultimately it would be a good decision.

“It's not about us and if that's the right thing to do, that's the right thing to do for him,” he said.

“What's certain is that he's one of the guys, that, he's been improving the most, physically and technically and he'll be there for the next 10 or 15 years so you'll be seeing a lot of him.”

The Wallabies take on New Zealand on Saturday October 21, kicking off at 7pm local, 8pm AEDT, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Network Ten, Win and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.