Wallabies squad named to face Wales in Autumn Nations series


Wallabies manager Dave Rennie showed huge faith in Ben Donaldson as he named the youngster five-eighth to start Sunday’s season-ending Test against Wales in Cardiff.

Donaldson’s debut for the Wallabies turned heartbreaking in a historic loss to Italy this month when he missed the game-winning conversion in Florence.

The Waratahs playmaker only got five minutes against Italy but Rennie preferred him to No.10 over Noah Lolesio at the Principality Stadium.

Watch the Wallabies v Wales and the Springboks v England this Sunday on rugby’s home, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad-free, live and on demand

Bernard Foley is unavailable after being released from his club commitments with Will Skelton.

It’s a makeshift team as the Wallabies continue to suffer an incredible list of injuries.

Michael Hooper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Valetini, Hunter Paisami, Dave Porecki, Andrew Kellaway and Nic White were all sent off following the loss to Ireland in Dublin.

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No 8 Langi Gleeson will join NSW teammate Donaldson in making his first start for Australia while Rebels stalwart Sam Talakai is in contention for his debut at 31 after being named on the bench.

Versatile Reece Hodge will be paired with Len Ikitau in midfield.

Ikitau backed Rennie’s methods despite the Wallabies winning just four of their 13 Tests this year and falling to eighth in the world rankings.

Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui return to dive into all the Autumn Nation Series results as well as review RWC Qualifiers and World Rugby Awards results

“It’s more about the players there,” Ikitau said.

“Dave has a great system and the way he wants to play, and for us it’s going out there and executing it.

“I just don’t think we’ve done that in recent weeks, especially against Italy. It would be nice to end our last game with a win and move on from there.”

WALLABIES (15-1): Tom Wright, Jordan Petaia, Len Ikitau, Reece Hodge, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Ben Donaldson, Jake Gordon, Langi Gleeson, Fraser McReight, Jed Holloway, Cadeyrn Neville, Nick Frost, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper (c)

Reservations: Lachlan Lonergan, Tom Robertson, Sam Talakai, Ned Hanigan, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Jock Campbell

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