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Rona handed dream debut against All Blacks

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first_imgPhoto Getty Images Rona has transformed from a Super Rugby rookie into a Wallabies winger in just seven months, having made his debut for the Force against the Waratahs back in August.But Dane Haylett-Petty’s bicep injury, combined with Rona’s sustained, superb form for Dave Wessels’ side this season, has made him a firm favourite of Michael Cheika’s.The Wallabies coach has been complimentary of Rona’s approach at training and his abrasiveness will be seen as a blunt weapon when the Wallabies square off with the almighty All Blacks on Saturday night.Rona’s inclusion on the left wing is one of five changes to the starting XV that faced Italy.Some of those are forced but others, once again, give this team a physical edge that was missing in June.Sean McMahon getting the nod ahead of Lopeti Timani at No. 8 is the perfect example of that.Rona’s inclusion is much the same but it’s the centre combination of Kurtley Beale and Samu Kerevi that gets the mouth watering.Beale’s creative spark, combined with Kerevi’s consistent explosiveness, could cause serious headaches if provided with enough clean ball.The other change is Henry Speight’s inclusion on the right wing, with Sefa Naivalu still unavailable through an injury sustained in the match against the Italians in Brisbane.There is no dream debut for Izack Rodda, with Rob Simmons preferred to the Reds young gun on the bench.Tatafu Polota-Nau is yet to earn back the starting hooker spot so he will come from the bench, with Tom Robertson and Sekope Kepu also coming from the pine.Nick Phipps gets the nod as Will Genia’s backup ahead of Joe Powell, while Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani will provide cover for the remainder of the backline.TEAMIN: Sean McMahon, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Nick Phipps, Tevita KuridraniOUT: Dane Haylett-Petty (bicep), Sefa Naivalu (ankle), Karmichael Hunt (ankle), Rob Horne (omitted), Toby Smith (omitted), Sam Carter (omitted), Jack Dempsey (omitted), Joe Powell (omitted), Quade Cooper (omitted), Wallabies team to face the All Blacks1. Scott Sio (32 Tests)2. Stephen Moore (120 Tests)3. Allan Alaalatoa (11 Tests)4. Rory Arnold (12 Tests)5. Adam Coleman (12 Tests)6. Ned Hanigan (3 Tests)7. Michael Hooper (c) (68 Tests)8. Sean McMahon (15 Tests)9. Will Genia (78 Tests)10. Bernard Foley (45 Tests)11. Curtis Rona*12. Kurtley Beale (60 Tests)13. Samu Kerevi (8 Tests)14. Henry Speight (12 Tests)15. Israel Folau (55 Tests)Reserves16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 Tests)17. Tom Robertson (9 Tests)18. Sekope Kepu (80 Tests)19. Rob Simmons (71 Tests)20. Lopeti Timani (7 Tests)21. Nick Phipps (52 Tests)22. Reece Hodge (13 Tests)23. Tevita Kuridrani (47 Tests)last_img read more