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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

O'Connor to make first Wallabies start since 2013 in Bledisloe opener

Michael Cheika has made four changes for Saturday’s showdown

Comeback: Wallabies' James O'Connor.
Comeback: Wallabies' James O'Connor.
Image: Ian Hitchcock

JAMES O’CONNOR WILL make his first Wallabies start since 2013 as one of four changes to the run-on side to face New Zealand on Saturday.

O’Connor came off the bench in Australia’s 16-10 win over Argentina last time out, but will start a Test for the first time since September 2013 when the Wallabies face the All Blacks in Perth.

Allan Alaalatoa is set for his first Test appearance of the year and the Brumbies star will be joined by Tolu Latu in the front row.

Meanwhile, Nic White will start alongside former Brumbies team-mate Christian Lealiifano in the halves.

The clash at Optus Stadium marks the opening game of the Bledisloe Cup, which the All Blacks have held since 2003.

Australia are third in the Rugby Championship on four points, behind South Africa (seven) and New Zealand (six).

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.

Replacements: Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Luke Jones, Will Genia, Matt To’omua, Tom Banks.

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