Friday’s rugby news has Sean McMahon starting for the Wallabies, Mick Byrne praises Reece Hodge, Taliauli re-signs with the Brumbies and All Blacks make four changes for their match with Argentina.
McMahon to Start
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named Sean McMahon to replace David Pocock in the Wallabies match against the Springboks this weekend.
McMahon is the only change to the starting side which beat Argentina in Perth.
Sefa Naivalu has been named on the extended Wallabies bench with one player to be omitted.
Team: Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (c), Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Dean Mumm, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Samu Kerevi, Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau Reserves: (One to be omitted) James Hanson, James Slipper, Tom Robertson, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Lopeti Timani, Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani, Sefa Naivalu
‘Best Kicks I’ve Seen’
Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne has praised youngster Reece Hodge’s kicking.
Hodge kicked a penalty from over 50 metres in his debut for the Wallabies and is expected to unleash his superboot when the Wallabies play the Springboks at altitude.
“I just remember the first day I worked with him, I was taken aback by how much power he generates with no step,” Byrne said.
“I’d say he’s as good as some of the AFL guys when he gets hold of it.
“Growing up he played AFL, cricket, rugby, rugby league – I think being an all-round sportsman growing up gives you a little bit of hand-eye coordination as well.
“It’s pretty exciting for me as a kicking coach when you get somebody with that much power.
“It’s up to me now to harness it correctly for him so it becomes a real good weapon for him.”
Brumbies winger Lausii Taliauli has re-signed with the Brumbies for the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The 23 year old is excited to start his third season with the Brumbies after joining the club at the start of 2015.
“It’s a huge honour to play for the Brumbies and I’m really looking forward to 2017,” Taliauli said.
“I’ve really enjoyed my first two seasons of Super Rugby here in Canberra. It’s the perfect fit for me to stay here and continue pushing myself here at the Brumbies.
“Talking to the boys, we are all looking forward to getting stuck into next season together.”
AB’s Change Four
The All Blacks have made four changes to their side to take on Argentina this weekend.
Aaron Smith has been rested promoting TJ Perenara to the starting team and Tawera Kerr-Barlow to the bench.
Malakai Fekitoa has been dropped from the match day 23 giving Anton Lienert-Brown a start at outside centre.
Liam Squire replaces Jerome Kaino and Patrick Tuipulotu comes in for Sam Whitelock in the second row.
The exciting Damien McKenzie has been named on the bench alongside Lima Sopoaga.
Team: Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (capt), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Sam Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Lima Sopoaga, Damian McKenzie.