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Beale starts at 15, Tupou AND Alaalatoa out, prop set for ‘wild’ debut


In a season of left field Wallabies selections, featuring returning legends and players who thought they’d never see a second chance, the call up of prop Ollie Hoskins might be the strangest of all.

The 28-year-old London Irish stalwart has Steven Bradburyed his way on the bench to face England with tighthead pair Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa missing out due to what the Wallabies described as “concussion symptoms” suffered in the loss to Scotland.

Kurtley Beale is another whose experience brings comparisons to the Aussie skater who won Olympic gold when all his rivals fell before him. Beale will start at No.15 in his 94th Test, having seen Tom Banks, Reece Hodge and Jordie Petaia sidelined by injuries.

James O’Connor retains his place at No.10 and will have a mouth watering clash with England’s young gun Marcus Smith, named at flyhalf in England’s team earlier Thursday.

The issue surrounding Tupou and Alaalatoa was exacerbated by a short turnaround between Tests and James Slipper will start at tighthead with Angus Bell on the other side.

“We played Sunday with a six day turned around and they needed to be right Monday and have no symptoms,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

“They woke up fine but as the day progressed … once you get a little bit of a headache or anything along those lines then you’re out.”

“It’s pretty wild – it’s hard to put into words how I feel,” Hoskins told the London Irish website on his call up.

Ollie Hoskins training with the Wallabies

Ollie Hoskins jogs during an Australia Rugby Training Session ahead of their International Match against England. At The Lensbury on November 09, 2021 in Teddington, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

“It’s surreal. It’s something that I thought was off the table for me when I moved over here and set up my life here. They’ve obviously recently changed the [eligibility] laws, so when I got that phone call last night, it was an incredible moment.

“To receive the call-up and be considered is a huge privilege, and confirmation that I’m on the right path and doing the right things.

“I’m just going to lap up the experience and hopefully come back a better man and a better player.”

Slipper, a veteran of 112 Tests, last started in the No.3 jersey for Australia in 2012 but has played on both sides for the Brumbies in Super Rugby.

Bell, the youngest member in the squad, will start for the second time in his career at loosehead prop with Folau Fainga’a earning an eighth consecutive run-on at hooker.

The forward pack remains otherwise unchanged from the one that started against Scotland with Rory Arnold and Izack Rodda in the second row and a back row of Michael Hooper, Rob Leota and Rob Valetini.

France-based Tolu Latu makes his return to the Wallabies squad for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the finishing hooker, with Tom Robertson set for his third Test of the year as the replacement loosehead prop.

With Beale at No.15, Andrew Kellaway reverts to the wing, where he had a sensational impact in the Rugby Championship.

“We expect England to put a lot of ball in the air and both Tom [Wright] and Kels are very strong aerially and so is Kurtley,” said Rennie. “We felt those three in the backfield were perfect for what we expect.”

Scrumhalf Nic White partners O’Connor, who drew criticism for playing too deep against the Scots. Rennie said the veteran had been working on his connection at training this week.

“I think James was probably mixed last week and we’ve all had a discussion around it,” said Rennie.

“It’s more in connection, making sure we’re connected to the forwards up front and the quality of the communiation coming from outside is good. All of our shot callers have sat down, gone right through the game looked at all our options, and so I think we’ll be better for it.”

Noah Lolesio, a late call up after Quade Cooper withdrew from the tour, has come onto the bench and could go up against England’s flyhalf of the future Marcus Smith later in the contest.

Wallabies team to play England at Twickenham, England on Saturday 13 November, 5:30pm GMT/4:30am AEDT (Sunday)
1. Angus Bell (14 Tests)
2. Folau Fainga’a (23 Tests)
3. James Slipper (112 Tests)
4. Rory Arnold (27 Tests)
5. Izack Rodda (32 Tests)
6. Rob Leota (4 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (117 Tests)
8. Rob Valetini (16 Tests)
9. Nic White (45 Tests)
10. James O’Connor (59 Tests)
11. Tom Wright (8 Tests)
12. Hunter Paisami (13 Tests)
13. Len Ikitau (11 Tests)
14. Andrew Kellaway (11 Tests)
15. Kurtley Beale (93 Tests)

Replacements
16. Tolu Latu (19 Tests)
17. Tom Robertson (26 Tests)
18. Oliver Hoskins*
19. Will Skelton (19 Tests)
20. Pete Samu (17 Tests)
21. Tate McDermott (13 Tests)
22. Noah Lolesio (8 Tests)
23. Izaia Perese (1 Test)
*denotes uncapped

England team

1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 31 caps)

2. Jamie George (Saracens, 60 caps)

3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 45 caps)

4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 49 caps)

5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 10 caps)

6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 88 caps)

7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 25 caps)

8. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 34 caps)

9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 110 caps)

10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 3 caps)

11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 67 caps)

12. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 93 caps)

13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 41 caps)

14. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 44 caps)

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)

Replacements

16. Jamie Blamire

17. Bevan Rodd

18. Will Stuart

19. Charlie Ewels

20. Alex Dombrandt

21. Sam Simmonds

22. Raffi Quirke

23 Max Malins





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