Rugby World Cup 2019: Wallabies teenager Petaia to face England at centre

By Sports Desk October 17, 2019

Australia coach Michael Cheika has placed his faith in Jordan Petaia by naming the teenager at outside centre for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against England.

The 19-year-old will become the first player born this century to start a World Cup knockout game when he lines up at 13, having featured on the wing in his previous two Tests during the pool stage.

His change in position comes about because wing Reece Hodge has also been selected having completed a three-game suspension after he was cited for a high tackle against Fiji.

Petaia will partner Queensland Reds team-mate Samu Kerevi in midfield while Cheika has opted for a half-back pairing of Will Genia and Christian Lealiifano.

Kurtley Beale has retained his spot at full-back having cleared the concussion protocols after taking a blow to the head against Georgia, while flanker Michael Hooper is back to captain the team.

Australia are bidding to reach their third successive World Cup semi-final and end a run of six consecutive losses to England, who have won every game against the Wallabies since Tasmanian Eddie Jones was appointed as their head coach.

 

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.

Replacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Matt To'omua, James O'Connor.

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