Porecki and Neville named for Wallabies debuts against England at Optus Stadium

Headshot of Nick Taylor
Nick TaylorThe West Australian
Cadeyrn Neville.
Camera IconCadeyrn Neville. Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images for Rugby Australia

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named David Porecki and Cadeyrn Neville to make their debuts at Optus Stadium against England on Saturday night in the first Test of the three-game series.

Neville will become the third-oldest Wallabies debutant since World War II, when at 33 years and 235 days, he partners club teammate Darcy Swain in the second row.

Waratahs hooker Porecki spent five years in the UK before returning to Australia in 2020 and cementing a spot in the Waratahs front row.

Dave Porecki in action for NSW.
Camera IconDave Porecki in action for NSW. Credit: ANDREW CORNAGA/AAPIMAGE

He joins his Super Rugby teammate Angus Bell, who will start at loosehead, with Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa at tighthead in his 54th Test.

Flanker Michael Hooper will captain the side for the 66th time with Rob Leota and Rob Valetini starting at blindside flanker and No.8.

Brumbies scrum-half Nic White will start with Quade Cooper at fly-half for the first time since leading the Wallabies to five straight Test wins in 2021.

Fellow Japan-based inside centre Samu Kerevi will join Len Ikitau in midfield.

Marika Koroibete makes his international return on the left wing, with last year’s rookie of the year and top try-scorer Andrew Kellaway named on the right and Tom Banks at fullback.

Newly-signed Western Force hooker Folau Fainga’a is on the bench with former Brumbies teammate Scott Sio the replacement loosehead prop.

The experienced James Slipper, 114 Caps, returns to where it all began after making his Test debut against England in Perth in 2010, named to cover tighthead.

Melbourne vice-captain Matt Philip is the reserve second-rower and Pete Samu backrow cover.

Waratahs skipper Jake Gordon and Noah Lolesio are the reserve haves with Reds outside back Jordan Petaia rounding out the bench.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “The whole squad has worked hard over the past fortnight for what’s going to be a tough three-Test series against a very good England side.

“Earning their first caps is a proud occasion for David, Cadeyrn and their families, with both men taking a unique journey to realise their dream of wearing the Wallabies jersey.

“The honour of representing our country is a massive motivating factor and we’ll be doing everything we can to put in a performance that makes all Australians proud.”

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