Lolesio snubbed as Donaldson gets nod at No.10 for Wales Test

2 weeks ago 33

Cardiff: Wallabies manager Dave Rennie has again sprung a large enactment astonishment by handing Waratahs playmaker Ben Donaldson an accidental to impressment astatine No.10 this play against Wales up of out-of-favour five-eighth Noah Lolesio.

For the archetypal clip successful the nonrecreational era, the Wallabies person picked 5 antithetic players to deterioration the No.10 jersey successful the aforesaid calendar year.

In14 Tests successful 2022, Dave Rennie has utilized Lolesio, Quade Cooper, James O’Connor, Bernard Foley and present Donaldson, who debuted disconnected the seat against Italy 2 weeks ago.

With Foley unavailable for enactment owed to nine commitments successful Japan, it was anticipated that Lolesio, who started each 3 Tests against England successful July, would get different spell for the past lucifer of Australia’s outpouring circuit successful Cardiff aft a starting quality against Italy.

Instead, Donaldson volition instrumentality the reins arsenic Australia’s main playmaker, with Reece Hodge slotting successful astatine No.12 successful the lack of the injured Hunter Paisami.

Donaldson was thrilled to marque his planetary debut successful the closing stages against Italy but suffered the cruellest of blows erstwhile his match-winning conversion effort aft the siren sailed right.

Ben Donaldson lines up   his precocious   conversion effort  against Italy.

Ben Donaldson lines up his precocious conversion effort against Italy.Credit:Getty

The 23-year-old vowed helium would determination connected rapidly from the missed accidental and has the accidental to bash conscionable that successful beforehand of a packed location astatine Principality Stadium.

“I wouldn’t accidental it’s ever been a program [to start] Donaldson but we privation to larn a spot much astir him,” Rennie said. “He lone got 5 minutes against Italy. We wanted to get him connected the tract earlier. He’s trained truly well. He’s got a bully skill-set. He’s a large kicker of the ball, quick, has an quality to play level and he’s processing a dependable and the quality to brag radical around. We request to spot plentifulness of that.

“We’re going to caput into a World Cup twelvemonth adjacent year. The presumption is Quade volition beryllium acceptable and disposable hopefully, truthful we cognize a batch astir him and Bernard. We privation to find retired astir Ben. His versatility helps too. He tin play [number] 15. We’ve got Noah who has a just spot of acquisition to travel into the crippled late.”

Donaldson, a Randwick junior, volition person NSW teammate Jake Gordon alongside him astatine halfback this week, with chap Waratahs youngster Mark Nawaqanitawase named for his 3rd consecutive Test connected the helping pursuing an eye-catching show successful Australia’s 13-10 nonaccomplishment to Ireland.

Donaldson has the accidental to rebuild his assurance by steering the Wallabies to triumph successful Cardiff and snapping Australia’s three-game losing streak to Wales.

Rennie’s determination to seat Lolesio, however, volition airs much questions astir his future. It’s hardly a amusement of religion successful a subordinate Wallabies coaches initially considered leaving retired of the touring squad.

Tom Wright has been named astatine fullback and Jordan Petaia connected the helping arsenic portion of 8 changes Rennie has been forced to marque to his starting XV.

Rennie and Jake Gordon aft  the Wallabies’ nonaccomplishment   to Ireland.

Rennie and Jake Gordon aft the Wallabies’ nonaccomplishment to Ireland.Credit:AP

“I deliberation Tom Wright’s dependable is monolithic and his work-rate disconnected the shot [is great],” Rennie said. “Jordy was fantabulous erstwhile helium came connected – the champion we’ve seen him play this twelvemonth – truthful he’s astir apt much suited to the helping for us. He tin determination backmost there.”

Seven players – Michael Hooper, Nic White, Dave Porecki, Paisami, Andrew Kellaway, Taniela Tupou and Rob Valetini – were unavailable owed to injuries and concussion protocols aft the bruising Ireland Test. Australia lone had 25 acceptable players to take from.

Former Wallabies skipper and halfback George Gregan was spotted astatine grooming connected Wednesday giving the squad a fewer tips.

The bittersweet world is that 1 wounded to a halfback – oregon hooker – earlier Saturday’s lucifer would necessitate the squad to nonstop retired an SOS.

Former Wallabies prima Drew Mitchell, who played his past Test successful 2016, sent retired a light-hearted tweet this week.

“Not definite if this is applicable accusation but I volition beryllium successful Cardiff this weekend. Just saying,” Mitchell wrote.

Asked what would hap if a backmost went down, Rennie said: “I perceive Drew Mitchell is available. It’s astir apt a 6-2 [forward and backs] split. The injuries are a monolithic negative.”

Prop Matt Gibbon and second-rower Darcy Swain are the lone 2 players successful the squad who won’t beryllium used, portion tight-head prop Sam Talakai is successful enactment to marque his Wallabies debut disconnected the bench.


Rennie wants 1 past large propulsion from the battered and bruised Wallabies against a Welsh broadside who fell to Georgia past week.

“They’ll beryllium hurting. We’re hurting arsenic well,” Rennie said. “We enactment a batch into past week’s effort and came up short. They’re astir apt getting it successful the media present and they’ll privation a response. We afloat recognize the strength required.

“You’ve got to find a mode to win.”

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