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Tallest Wallaby ever and Reds centre Kerevi among new caps for England Test

Christian Leali’ifano is named among the replacements after the birth of his son.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

MICHAEL CHEIKA HAS handed out three new caps in Australia’s starting XV for the Test series opener against England in Brisbane on Saturday.

ACT Brumbies lock Rory Arnold, Queensland Reds centre Samu Kerevi and Western Force wing Dane Haylett-Petty will start the first of three Tests for the Cook Cup.

The 6’8″ Arnold will become the tallest man to wear the Wallabies’ gold jersey when he makes his debut alongside 60-Test veteran Rob Simmons at lock.

“This team has a great opportunity to build on the foundations in place,” Cheika said at the team announcement.

“We have a good mix of new blood and players who have been connected to the group for some time and the energy and enjoyment within the group has been excellent.”

Reds outside-back Kerevi will team up with Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani to form one of the biggest centre pairings for the Wallabies in an anticipated physical confrontation with England.

Australia Super Rugby Kerevi loses possession in the tackle against the 'Tahs in February. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Haylett-Petty has secured a berth on the right wing with the team’s newly appointed vice-captain Rob Horne on the left.

Cheika has named one more potential Test newcomer on the bench, with Reds scrum-half Nick Frisby, while Christian Leali’ifano has been named in the 23-player squad following the birth of his son.

Newly re-signed Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu returns from French Top 14 club Bordeaux-Begles on the replacements bench alongside Harlequins lock and former Reds captain James Horwill.

Hooker Stephen Moore will play his 103rd Test when he leads the Wallabies for the 12th time, surpassing Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau (both on 102 Test caps) to become the fourth-most capped Wallaby of all time.

Australia (v England. Saturday, 11am)

15. Israel Folau
14. Dane Haylett-Petty
13. Tevita Kuridrani
12. Samu Kerevi
11. Rob Horne
10. Bernard Foley
9. Nick Phipps

1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore (Capt.)
3. Greg Holmes
4. Rory Arnold
5. Rob Simmons
6. Scott Fardy
7. Michael Hooper
8. David Pocock

Replacements:

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. James Slipper
18. Sekope Kepu
19. James Horwill
20. Dean Mumm
21. Sean McMahon
22. Nick Frisby
23. Christian Leali’ifano

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AFP

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