Wallabies unchanged for Melbourne Test

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named an unchanged 23 to take on Ireland in Melbourne, the first in his Test tenure.

Cheika has opted to stick with the same team that beat Ireland in Brisbane, opting against bringing in Ned Hanigan (knee) or Rory Arnold (suspension).

It is the first time since taking over the Wallabies reins in 2014 that Cheika has kept the same 23 two weeks in a row.

Pete Samu will come off the bench for the Wallabies in Melbourne. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyHooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa will start for the second week in a row, as the forwards look to shore up a somewhat inconsistent lineout when they arrive in Melbourne.

His fellow Brisbane debutant Caleb Timu has held out Pete Samu and Hanigan to keep his spot at no. 8, combining with David Pocock and Michael Hooper in the backrow.

With heavy rain expected on Saturday night, Cheika has kept a six-two split on the bench as well, after the forwards stood strong in Brisbane.

They will face a strengthened Ireland outfit in the second Test, with Johnny Sexton set to start, headlining a string of eight changes.

Cheika said he wanted to give his 23 another chance to impress, after a short lead-in to the Brisbane Test.

"I think- first game of the season, we had a rush, we crammed a lot last week, so I'd just like to give those guys another opportunity to get out there with the understanding of being together for another three or for days and try and do better," he said.

"I think we need to raise the bar on ourselves, on our own standards this week to give ourselves a chance of winning the game."

Allan Alaalatoa is still struggling to shake a sprained ankle, while Hanigan was available, and Cheika hinted he would be in the mix for the third Test.

"Ned was available, he had a full week's training, so that's good, he'll get himself, I'm sure, in the frame.

"He got stuck into it in the physical stuff this week and I'm sure when he gets the full contact into him next week, he'll be a good option to play probably."

The Wallabies take on Ireland in Melbourne on Saturday night, kicking off at 8:05pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS, Channel Ten and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.


1. Scott Sio (44 Tests)

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (1 Test)

3. Sekope Kepu (92 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (5 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (21 Tests)

6. David Pocock (67 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (80 Tests)

8. Caleb Timu (1 Test)

9. Will Genia (89 Tests)

10. Bernard Foley (56 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (9 Tests)

12. Kurtley Beale (72 Tests)

13. Samu Kerevi (19 Tests)

14. Dane Haylett-Petty (19 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (63 Tests)


16. Tolu Latu (5 Tests)

17. Tom Robertson (19 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (2 Tests)

19. Rob Simmons (83 Tests)

20. Lukhan Tui (5 Tests)

21. Pete Samu (1 Test)

22. Nick Phipps (62 Tests)

23. Reece Hodge (25 Tests)