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Cadeyrn Neville set to debut for Wallabies against England

Wed, 29/06/2022, 7:57 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Brumbies go through the hands for a sweet team try.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is set to hand Brumbies lock Cadeyrn Neville his debut in the first Test against England on July 2.

Neville will reportedly start in Saturday's series opener at Optus Stadium, becoming the second oldest Wallaby debutant (33 years, 235 days) since World War II, only eclipsed by Christiaan Strauss

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The selection is a well-deserved honour for the lock, who has found himself selected in wider Wallabies squads by four different coaches - Robbie Deans, Ewen McKenzie, Michael Cheika and Rennie - without getting the chance to make his debut.

The injury to Izack Rodda paves the way for his long-awaited maiden cap, nearly ten years to the day he was called in as a bolter by Deans for the 2012 June Tests against Scotland and Wales.

"It's hard to sum up all the ways it would be special to me," Neville told reporters last week what it would mean to earn a call-up.

"I've had a taste of it in various forms over the years but it's good to just go through the season and be named in that squad and just come in sort of the orthodox way.

"I'd definitely relish it, I'm keeping focused on the work that I still need to do to get there.

"I'm keen to rip in."

The in-form Neville has often flown under the radar in a highly-competitive second-row department, with the likes of Darcy Swain and Nick Frost garnering headlines as well as the emergence of Tom Hooper.

However, Neville's development in 2022 into a more well-rounded second-row was recognised early by the Brumbies as the former Manly Marlin took his game to another level.

“I’ve been really impressed with a bloke like Caderyn Neville who hasn’t been expected to execute a lot of skill in the past," Brumbies assistant coach Rob Seib said at the start of the year.

"The skill level that’s been achieved over the past couple of weeks has been fantastic.

"When we get into drills and training where he’s put under stress, he’s a great example of someone who is showing he has really developed and is keen to get better.”

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