A triad of Melbourne Rebels have been given the call up to the Wallabies 23-man team by coach Ewen McKenzie for the upcoming test against France on Friday June 14.
Scott Higginbotham, Luke Jones and Laurie Weeks have all been called up following a raft of changes for the second test of the three tests series against Les Bleus. All three players will start on the bench.
The upcoming test is to be played at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, meaning Jones and Weeks will be making their Australian debuts in front of a Melbourne home crowd.
The occasion is a special one for 28 year-old Weeks who has been part of several Wallabies camps before, but has never made a start. Meanwhile for Jones, his inclusion comes as reward for an outstanding season so far with the Rebels.
All three changes have come due to injuries sustained in the first test.
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Jones replaces young Brumbies lock Sam Carter — who also made his debut in this series — but will start in the no.19 jersey with James Horwill moving into the starting fifteen.
Likewise for Scott Higginbotham who replaces Wycliff Palu in the team but will start from the bench; Ben McCalman has been elevated to no.8.
Laurie Weeks replaces an injured Paddy Ryan.
New captain Stephen Moore has also had to drop out of the team after he sustained an injury just minutes into the first test. Tatafu Polota-Nau will now be the starting hooker, and Nathan Charles will fill in from the bench.
Moore's absence will mean Michael Hooper will captain the team, making him Australia’s 82nd captain and the youngest ever at just 22 years of age.
The Wallabies won the first test 50-23, scoring seven tries in a dominant display. A win this Friday will give them an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
WALLABIES TEAM: 1. James Slipper, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. James Horwill, 6. Scott Fardy, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Nic White, 10. Bernard Foley, 11. Nick Cummins, 12. Matt Toomua, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 15. Israel Folau
Replacements: 16. Nathan Charles, 17. Pek Cowan, 18. Laurie Weeks, 19. Luke Jones, 20. Scott Higginbotham, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Kurtley Beale, 23. Pat McCabe
Omitted: Stephen Moore (inj), Ben Alexander (inj), Paddy Ryan (inj), Scott Sio, Sam Carter (inj), Will Skelton, Wycliff Palu (inj), Matt Hodgson, Will Genia, Christian Leali’ifano, Rob Horne