Wallabies spring surprises in team selections for Fourth Bledisloe Cup Test

Dave Rennie has been forced to start from scratch again with a new-look Wallabies side for the final Bledisloe Cup Test of the year.

Rennie on Thursday announced six team changes from the side that was thumped by the All Blacks last week.

Some of the changes have been forced on Rennie, but many of his moves for Saturday’s showdown in Brisbane are a clear message from the Kiwi that last week’s disastrous loss cannot be tolerated.

Rennie swung the axe by dropping more than a third of his team from the Starting XV, including Noah Lolesio and Dane Haylett-Petty.

His selection shake-up includes two debutant call-ups with Brumbies winger Tom Wright replacing Filipo Daugunu and Waratahs star Lachlan Swinton to start on the bench.

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The most dramatic selection has seen Rennie shift Reece Hodge into the No. 10 jumper after dumping Lolesio to the bench.

Hodge will be the third Wallaby to wear the No. 10 this Bledisloe Cup campaign.

Reece Hodge came so close in Game 1.Source:AFP

With James O’Connor still struggling with a knee injury, Rennie has played it safe by going with Hodge rather than gamble on a more inexperienced halves combination — despite the series already being over.

Hodge has not played at fly-half since 2017 at international level, and was worn the gold No. 10 just once previously.

Tom Banks was named at full back.

“It’s going to be a really special night for James in front of his family and friends back at his home ground and I know the team will be doing everything they can to make sure it’s a memorable result,” Rennie said in a statement.

“Lachlan, Tom and Angus have been excellent over the past seven weeks and have earned their first jersey for Australia through hard work and good performances.

“As a whole group we were really disappointed after last weekend and we get a chance to show our character on Saturday in Brisbane.”

WALLABIES (1-15): James Slipper, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Matt Philip, Lachie Swinton, Michael Hooper (c), Harry Wilson, Nic White, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Tom Banks

Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Ned Hanigan, Liam Wright, Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Filipo Daugunu

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