Reece Hodge has been named to start at flyhalf for the Wallabies in their clash with the All Blacks in Brisbane on Saturday.
Hodge will wear the Wallabies’ No 10 jersey for just the second time in his career as coach Dave Rennie has made a number of changes for the fourth and final Bledisloe Cup match of the year.
The 26-year-old, who is more comfortable at wing or fullback, replaces rookie Noah Lolesio, who drops to the bench after a difficult debut with regular flyhalf James O’Connor still recovering from an MCL ligament injury.
Hodge’s only Test appearance at flyhalf came in a 63-30 win over Japan in Tokyo and he is has played in the position on a handful of occasions at franchise level.
His is not the only change to the Wallabies backline as Hunter Paisami has been brought in to replace Irae Simone – left out of the match-day 23 – at inside centre. Brumbies backs Tom Banks and Tom Wright replace Dane Haylett-Petty and Filipo Daugunu, respectively.
There are a further two changes to the forwards as Rob Simmons has earned a recall in place of the injured Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, while Waratahs loose forward Lachlan Swinton – brought in to add more mongrel to the pack – will make his Test debut at blindside flank.
Former Reds captain James Slipper will make his 100 Test appearance, becoming the 13th Wallaby to do so.
Wallabies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Hunter Paisami 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Reece Hodge, 9 Nic White, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lachlan Swinton 5 Matt Philip, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Ned Hanigan, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Noah Lolesio, 23 Filipo Daugunu.
Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images