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Tupou, White return to starting side as Hooper makes history

Thu, 16/09/2021, 1:13 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper and backrower Rob Valetini have spoken today from the Gold Coast.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has elevated Nic White and Taniela Tupou to the starting side for their second Test against South Africa in a historic match for Michael Hooper.

White comes into the side for Tate McDermott, who reverts back to the bench, whilst Tupou will replace Allan Alaalatoa after the Brumbies prop returned back to Canberra for the birth of his child.

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Meanwhile, Hooper will become the Wallabies' most capped captain when he leads the side out for the 60th time on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium.

He goes past the record set by George Gregan in his 113th game in gold since making his debut in 2012.

“It’s an incredible milestone for Hoops on Saturday evening in Brisbane and it’s a testament to him as a person and a player," Rennie said.

“I’ve been so impressed with his leadership both on and off the field and his drive to be better every day.

“We were really proud of the effort from our men last Sunday and we’re well aware of the ferocity that a wounded Springboks outfit will bring to Suncorp Stadium.”

In further changes, James Slipper returns to the starting side after coming off the bench in last week's thrilling win on the Gold Coast.

On the bench, Western Force prop Tom Robertson is in line for his first appearance since 2018, joined by club team-mate Feleti Kaitu'u after his strong debut.

Along with this, Brumbies lock Darcy Swain will make his return after overcoming a foot injury.

James O'Connor remains on the sidelines as Rennie looks to get more game-time into him as he completes his return from a groin injury

The Wallabies will be looking to secure the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate with a win over the world champions at Suncorp, a place in which they have won their past eight Tests.

Wallabies team to play South Africa at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday 18 September, 5:05pm AEST

1. James Slipper (107 Tests)

2. Folau Fainga’a (18 Tests)

3. Taniela Tupou (32Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (27 Tests)

5. Matt Philip (16 Tests)

6. Lachlan Swinton (5 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (112 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (11 Tests)

9. Nic White (40 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (71 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (40 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (35 Tests)

13. Len Ikitau (6 Tests)

14. Andrew Kellaway (6 Tests)

15. Tom Banks (18 Tests)

Replacements

16. Feleti Kaitu’u (1 Test)

17. Angus Bell (9 Tests)

18. Tom Robertson (24 Tests)

19. Darcy Swain (6 Tests)

20. Pete Samu (12 Tests)

21. Tate McDermott (9 Tests)

22. Reece Hodge (50 Tests)

23. Jordan Petaia (11 Tests)

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