Union debut for Koroibete in Wallaby XV

Date published: November 23 2016

Marika Koroibete will make his professional rugby union debut on Friday having been named to start in the Wallaby XV team to face the French Barbarians. 

The former Melbourne Storm flyer will team up with old friend Taqele Naiyaravoro on the wing for the Wallaby XV, something that will make his rugby return even more special.

“I’ve just been learning my roles and just do whatever the coach tells me to do on the field and do some line work after training,” he said.

“I didn’t believe that I’m going to play alongside him again, got some good memories together, he’s one of my good mates.

“It’s a dream come true and hopefully we contribute to the team tomorrow.”

Lock Will Skelton will captain the side, his first experience in that leadership role in his career but one that he will cherish.

“It’s a baptism of fire being my first role as captain, I’m excited but I think I’ll bring my own unique taste to it and lead by example,” he said.

Coach Scott Wisemantel said every player would be out to impress in Bordeaux.

“It’s great opportunity for all the lads in the team to get out and impress against a very experienced French Barbarians side,” he said.

“We have a good mix of youth and experience in our team which will be important as the French have some renowned Internationals and aren’t taking this game lightly.

“A lot of guys have been training in the Wallabies system for the past month on tour and now we have had a great week gelling together in Bordeaux.”

Wallaby XV: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Mark Gerrard, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Jono Lance (vc), 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Jack Dempsey, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Will Skelton (c), 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Paddy Ryan
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 David Lolohea, 19 Scott Fardy, 20 Henry Vanderglas, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Izaia Perese, 23 Andrew Kellaway 24 Henry Clunies-Ross

Date: Thursday, November 24
Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina)
Assistant Referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Maxime Chalon (France)
TMO: Arnaud Blondel (France)