Live coverage of Wallabies v Ireland at Suncorp Stadium, blog, highlights, video

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MICHAEL Hooper will lead the Wallabies out in their first Test of the year, as they host Six Nations grand slam champions Ireland at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was forced to make one late change to his side after reserve loose-head prop Allan Alaalatoa was ruled out after suffering an ankle injury on Thursday and has been replaced by Tom Robertson.

Reds duo Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu will make their Test debuts after being named to start, while Crusader Pete Samu is also in line to make his debut after being named on a six, two forwards heavy bench.

Hooper will be reunited with breakdown King David Pocock, who is playing his first Test since 2016 for the Wallabies.


Meanwhile, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has left champion playmaker Johnny Sexton on the bench and trusted his former Leinster teammate Joey Carbery to run the show.

Sexton, along with fellow British and Irish Lion Tadhg Furlong, will come off the bench, while star centre Garry Ringrose has been left out completely after a taxing season with Leinster where the trio recently completed the double by winning the Pro14 and European Champions Cup.

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With regular captain Rory Best left at home because of a niggling hamstring injury, flanker Peter O’Mahony will captain Ireland.

Gun halfback Conor Murray has been named and his presence will help Carbery in just his 11th Test and third start.

Experienced midfielder Robbie Henshaw returns to the side in Ringrose’s absence and will be partnered by Bundee Aki, who started all five matches during Ireland’s victorious Six Nations campaign.

Schmidt has named his regular back three with Rob Kearney at fullback and Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale on the wings.

The front row is completely changed from Ireland’s most recent game — the grand slam win over England at Twickenham — with Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and John Ryan to start.

Hard working lock Iain Henderson is in the second row with James Ryan, while Jordi Murphy comes into the team at open-side flanker in a back row that also includes O’Mahony and another Lion in CJ Stander.

WALLABIES (15-1): Israel Folau; Marika Koroibete, Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale, Dane Haylett-Petty; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Caleb Timu, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock; Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda; Sekope Kepu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Scott Sio.

Reserves: Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Lukhan Tui, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Reece Hodge.

Ireland (15-1): Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Peter O’Mahony (c); Iain Henderson, James Ryan; John Ryan, Rob Herring, Jack McGrath.

Reserves: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan, Kieran Marmion, Johnny Sexton, Jordan Larmour.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (RSA)


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