Slipper to skipper, Cale earns first start in Melbourne

Thu, Jul 11, 2024, 2:00 AM
Rugby Australia
by Rugby Australia
James Slipper will captain the Wallabies for the 15th time on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images
James Slipper will captain the Wallabies for the 15th time on Saturday night. Photo: Getty Images

Loosehead prop James Slipper will captain the Wallabies for the 15th time, against Wales in Melbourne on Saturday night, with the side to wear their First Nations jersey in recognition of NAIDOC week.

Slipper is part of an unchanged front row that includes hooker Matt Faessler and tighthead prop Taniela Tupou.

Beecroft junior Charlie Cale has earned his first Test start, selected at number eight and will combine with Fraser McReight and Rob Valetini in the backrow after last week’s captain Liam Wright was ruled out through injury.

The second row is also retained from the nine-point win in Sydney with Jeremy Williams and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto to combine again at AAMI Park.

The Wallabies coaches have also named an unchanged backline with Jake Gordon and Noah Lolesio named in the halves alongside Hunter Paisami and Josh Flook in the midfield.

Tom Wright will again start at fullback with Andrew Kellaway and Filipo Daugunu on the edges.

Substitute hooker Josh Nasser is in line to become the 13th son of a Wallaby to wear the gold jersey, following the path of his father and Wallaby number 685, Brendan. He joins Melbourne-raised Isaac Kailea and Allan Alaalatoa in the replacement front row.

Casuarina product Angus Blyth has earned his second Test selection as the reserve second rower, while Langi Gleeson has been named for his first appearance in Wallaby gold this year as the backrow cover.

Experienced scrumhalf Nic White has been named for his 67th Wallabies Test with his Western Force teammate Ben Donaldson also selected for his first international of 2024.

Wiradjuri man Dylan Pietsch rounds out the matchday 23 in what will be his second Test after making his debut last weekend.

Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt said: “We found out a bit about ourselves last week and are looking forward to learning a bit more on Saturday night.”

“We’ve worked hard again this week in Melbourne and will be going out to earn the support of those in the stands and those at home on Saturday night.”

Watch all the action on Stan Sport with every Wallabies Test streaming ad-free, live and on demand with Wallabies at home in 4K UHD. Wallabies matches will also be shown live on the Nine Network.

Wallabies team to play Wales at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Saturday 13 July, 7:45pm AEST

1. James Slipper (c) (135 Tests) – Bond Pirates

2. Matt Faessler (6 Tests) – USQ Saints

3. Taniela Tupou (51 Tests) – Brothers Rugby

4. Jeremy Williams (1 Test) - Wahroonga Tigers

5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (31 Tests) – Randwick

6. Rob Valetini (40 Tests) – Harlequin Junior Rugby Club

7. Fraser McReight (18 Tests) – Albany Creek Brumbies

8. Charlie Cale (1 Test) - Beecroft Junior Rugby Club

9. Jake Gordon (21 Tests) – Canterbury Berries

10. Noah Lolesio (18 Tests) – Tuggeranong Vikings

11. Filipo Daugunu (8 Tests) – Wests Bulldogs

12. Hunter Paisami (25 Tests) - Harlequin Junior Rugby Club

13. Josh Flook (1 Test) - Brothers Rugby

14. Andrew Kellaway (27 Tests) – Hunters Hill Rugby

15. Tom Wright (26 Tests) – Clovelly Eagles

Substitutes

16. Josh Nasser** - Easts Tigers

17. Isaac Kailea (1 Test) - Harlequin Junior Rugby Club

18. Allan Alaalatoa (68 Tests) – West Harbour Juniors

19. Angus Blyth (1 Test) - Casuarina Beach Rugby Club

20. Langi Gleeson (5 Tests) – Harbord Harlequins

21. Nic White (66 Tests) – Maitland Blacks

22. Ben Donaldson (7 Tests) – Clovelly Eagles

23. Dylan Pietsch (1 Test) - Leeton Phantoms

**denotes potential debut

Wallabies 2024 Home Tests

July Tests

Wallabies 25 defeated Wales 16, Saturday July 6 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Wallabies v Wales, 7:45pm AEST, Saturday July 13 at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Wallabies v Georgia, 3:45pm AEST, Saturday July 20 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

The Rugby Championship/Bledisloe Cup

Wallabies v South Africa, 2:30pm AEST, Saturday August 10 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Wallabies v South Africa, 5:45pm AWST, Saturday August 17 at Optus Stadium, Perth

Wallabies v New Zealand, 3:45pm AEST, Saturday September 21 at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Tickets to the Wallabies 2024 Home Tests are available to purchase here.

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