Marika Koroibete and Lachlan Swinton are back in the Wallabies lineup as a desperate Australia look to keep their Bledisloe Cup chances alive against the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday.
The 37-Test Koroibete was not considered for the first Test – won 33-25 by the All Blacks – after going on a late-night drinking session and breaching the team curfew.
Swinton was red-carded on debut and earned a four-week suspension last year for a high shot on All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock in a Bledisloe Cup Test.
But when coach Dave Rennie named his side on Thursday, he said he was rewarding form and not reputation ahead of the Eden Park rematch to keep the best-of-three series alive.
“Koroibete knows he’s let himself and the team down and wants to make up for that this weekend,” Rennie said.
Koroibete and Swinton are among four changes to the Wallabies team. Swinton replaces Harry Wilson in the loose trio, Matt Philip was promoted to start at lock and, in the backline, Matt To’omua cracks the nod at inside centre.
The front row of James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Allan Alaalatoa remain together for their third consecutive Test while Swinton’s inclusion at blindside flank has Rob Valetini moving to the back row.
Flyhalf Noah Lolesio, who had a nightmare with the boot last week, missing five of seven shots at goal, has been retained – but with the experienced To’omua guiding him from inside centre.
Andrew Kellaway, promoted to the run-on side last week in Koroibete’s absence, has retained his spot.
Among the replacements, the 68-Test prop Scott Sio and 37-Test scrumhalf Nic White are set for their first appearances for the Wallabies this year. Reds duo Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Wilson also drop back to the bench.
“To beat New Zealand, you have to win the collisions and be clinical for 80 minutes and we didn’t do that,” Rennie said of the first Test loss.
“We’ve got a lot more in us and we’ll show that on Saturday night.”
Australia – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Harry Wilson, 21 Nic White, 22 Len Ikitau, 23 Reece Hodge
©️ Agence France-Presse