Twenty-two year-old Angus Bell will start in Wallaby gold for the first time this year at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against New Zealand on Saturday night.
It marks an incredible return for the Waratahs loosehead prop who suffered back-to-back toe injuries and months of rehab. His cameo off the bench against Argentina was strong enough for Wallabies Head Coach to include him in the starting XV. Bell joins fellow Waratahs Hooker Dave Porecki in the front row.
It’s one of a number of changes to the side, with another Waratah, Izaia Perese making his way into the match day 23, while Jed Holloway retains his position on the side of the scrum.
Mark Nawaqanitawase is again named on the wing, after a strong performance and an incredible 90m try against Argentina a fortnight ago.
The Wallabies hold a 2-1 winning record over New Zealand at the MCG and are expecting a crowd of 80,000 on Saturday night.
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “We are a team that wants to make Australia proud and Saturday night is a great opportunity to light up the MCG.”
“A young starting 15 and vibrant, experienced finishers will give us the 80 minutes we want.
“Wallaby Rugby versus New Zealand Rugby, it’s the most important game of the year.”
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Wallabies team to play New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on Saturday 29 July, 7:55pm AEST
1. Angus Bell (21 Tests)
2. David Porecki (12 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (acting captain) (66 Tests)
4. Nick Frost (10 Tests)
5. Will Skelton (26 Tests)
6. Jed Holloway (11 Tests)
7. Tom Hooper (1 Test)
8. Rob Valetini (32 Tests)
9. Tate McDermott (23 Tests)
10. Carter Gordon (2 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (53 Tests)
12. Samu Kerevi (43 Tests)
13. Jordan Petaia (25 Tests)
14. Mark Nawaqanitawase (4 Tests)
15. Andrew Kellaway (21 Tests)
16. Jordan Uelese (17 Tests)
17. James Slipper (129 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (47 Tests)
19. Richie Arnold (2 Tests)
20. Rob Leota (14 Tests)
21. Nic White (61 Tests)
22. Quade Cooper (78 Tests)
23. Izaia Perese (3 Tests)
2023 eToro Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Fixtures
Wallabies 12 defeated by South Africa 43 on Saturday 8 July at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Wallabies 31 defeated by Argentina 34, Saturday 15 July at CommBankStadium, Sydney
Wallabies v New Zealand, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday 29 July at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Wallabies v New Zealand, 2:35pm NZST/12:35pm AEST Saturday 5 August at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin