Moore out, Koroibete set for debut

Date published: September 14 2017

Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has missed out on a Test return in Saturday’s clash with Argentina, while wing Marika Koroibete is set for his debut.

Moore returned to camp this week after the birth of his third child, Lawrence, but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has opted to give one-Test rookie Jordan Uelese a second crack at Test rugby.

Uelese came off the bench in Perth, playing 21 minutes in the 23-23 draw with the Springboks, in a performance that showed his promise.

Uelese is the latest in a trio of hookers who have looked to put the heat on Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau in recent seasons, with James Hanson and Tolu Latu both in the mix last year but unable to push for a long-term spot.

Speaking to RUGBY.com.au earlier in the week, Moore heaped praise on Uelese, and said he hoped his emergence was a sign of the next generation coming through.

“I thought he was terrific for his first Test and it takes you back to when you played your first Test and how much nerves and excitement there are,” he said on Tuesday.

“He certainly showed that he was capable at that level and he’s only going to get better after that, so that’s a really good sign for the team.

“I think if you look, with myself retiring and Taf’s not that much younger than me as well.

“It’s really important that young hookers start to step forward and claim those roles because there’s an opportunity there for someone like Jordan to have a very long career for Australia.

“It’s exciting for me to see that because this time next year I’m going to be a supporter.”

Uelese is not the only relatively new player lining up in Canberra, with Cheika opting to give more untried talent a chance in this Test, including potential debutant and Rebels flyer Marika Koroibete.

Koroibete was first included in the national setup in last year’s Spring Tour, but has not managed to crack a matchday 23 during that time.

Cheika hinted the Rebels’ speedster was nearing a debut, speaking in Perth last week, after a scintillating performance for the Melbourne Rising in the opening round of the NRC.

The 25-year-old replaces fellow NRL convert Curtis Rona in the 23 for the clash with the Pumas.

Rob Simmons’ Test redemption continues, with the soon-to-be Waratahs lock combining with Adam Coleman in the starting lineup, with Rory Arnold dropping out of the team.

Bledisloe debutant Izack Rodda has been included for his second Test, set to come off the bench.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley (vc), 9 Will Genia (vc), 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Izack Rodda, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Marika Koroibete

Date: Saturday, September 16
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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