Thursday’s rugby news has Will Genia returning to the Wallabies starting team, Bernard Foley home at flyhalf, Brumbies sign Tom Banks and All Blacks make 12 changes.
“I think Phipps had two really good games, I do, against New Zealand then against Wales. But Genia, I thought he’s been one of our best all season,” Cheika said.
“I just feel that this is a good game for him to play, come back in and get straight into it and then Nick will finish the game.
“I think Nick’s standard has definitely gone up from what I saw earlier in the year and now there’s a real competition going on there.”
Meanwhile, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm and Tom Robertson all come onto the bench.
Foley Home at Flyhalf
Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham says Bernard Foley has been comfortable since his return to flyhalf.
Foley played a couple of matches this season at inside centre as Quade Cooper got the opportunity at flyhalf but Foley has returned to form since his return to his preferred position.
“I think he’s had two good games in a row now, I think the New Zealand game was a bit of a standout for him as well,” he said.
“He certainly feels comfortable there, he understands the way we play really well, moves the team around the paddock and finds the space now.”
Brumbies Sign Banks
The Brumbies have signed exciting fullback Tom Banks to help fill their outside back stocks.
Banks has played two matches for the Queensland Reds over the past two seasons and has plenty of potential.
“We are delighted to sign a player of the quality of Tom for the 2017 Super Rugby season,” said Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham.
“Tom has the ideal attributes we look for in a Brumbies player. He is young, strong in defence and attack and hungry to make his mark at the Super Rugby level.
“I am sure that the Brumbies fans will enjoy following Tom’s development with interest. He joins a number of players who are ready to impress in 2017.”
12 Changes for AB’s
The All Blacks have made 12 changes to their side which will face Italy this weekend.
Sam Cane will captain the side for the second time in his career and joins Patrick Tuipulotu and Waisake Naholo as the only survivors from the starting 15 against Ireland.
Reiko Ioane is set to become the youngest All Black since Jonah Lomu at the age of 19 after being named on the bench.
“On behalf of the entire All Blacks squad, we want to congratulate Liam and Rieko on their elevation to the matchday 23 for the first time,” coach Steve Hansen said.
“They have both worked incredibly hard and deserve their opportunity.
“Whilst we have made a number of changes, as we indicated, we will be looking for a massive improvement in our performance from last weekend.”