Petaia at fullback for Wallabies, England shuffles back line

July 7, 2022 GMT
England's Jack van Poortlviet, left, is tackled by Australia's Jordan Petaia as he scores a try during the rugby international between England and the Wallabies in Perth, Australia, Saturday, July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary Day)
England's Jack van Poortlviet, left, is tackled by Australia's Jordan Petaia as he scores a try during the rugby international between England and the Wallabies in Perth, Australia, Saturday, July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary Day)
England's Jack van Poortlviet, left, is tackled by Australia's Jordan Petaia as he scores a try during the rugby international between England and the Wallabies in Perth, Australia, Saturday, July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary Day)
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England's Jack van Poortlviet, left, is tackled by Australia's Jordan Petaia as he scores a try during the rugby international between England and the Wallabies in Perth, Australia, Saturday, July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary Day)
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England's Jack van Poortlviet, left, is tackled by Australia's Jordan Petaia as he scores a try during the rugby international between England and the Wallabies in Perth, Australia, Saturday, July 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Gary Day)

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Jordan Petaia will start at fullback while former rugby league star Suliasi Vunivalu will have to wait for a Wallabies debut after being overlooked to play England in the second test on Saturday.

Andrew Kellaway’s hamstring injury in training this week and Tom Banks’ broken arm in Australia’s 30-28 win over England in the first test allowed coach Dave Rennie to earmark the 22-year-old Petaia for his 18th test appearance.

England coach Eddie Jones has shuffled his back line for the second test, giving debuts to Tommy Freeman and Guy Porter on the wing and at No. 13, respectively. Halfback Jack van Poortvliet will make his first start for England after scoring a try coming on as a replacement last weekend.

Porter comes in for Joe Marchant and Freeman replaces Joe Cokanasiga on the left wing. Van Poortvliet has been chosen ahead of Danny Care while Sam Underhill replaces Tom Curry, who is out with a concussion, in the No. 7 spot.

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“We have decided to make changes in our back line,” Jones said. “They were tough calls but we feel they will strengthen the team. There are opportunities to attack against Australia which we can take.”

The Brisbane-born Petaia scored on his test debut against Uruguay as a 19-year-old at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“His kicking, (catching) high balls, the ability to roam and get more ball in his hands excites us,” Rennie said. “This is the best I’ve seen Jordy; he’s physically excellent. If we can buy him some time to catch and attack he can be a real handful.”

Petaia’s Queensland Reds teammate Vunivalu won’t slot into the wing position that Petaia vacated, with another former National Rugby League player Tom Wright taking the spot.

Inside center Samu Kerevi returns to Brisbane’s Lang Park having his made his Wallabies debut against England at the same venue in 2016. He will combine with Reds center Hunter Paisami who replaces Len Ikitau at outside center.

Lock Darcy Swain was not available for selection after being suspended for two matches after a red card for foul play in the first test.

Last Saturday’s win at Perth snapped an eight-game Australian losing streak against England. The Wallabies have won their last 10 tests at Brisbane.

The Wallabies will wear their First Nations jersey and sing the national anthem in the Yugambeh Indigenous language as they pay homage to Lloyd McDermott, the first Wallaby to identify as a First Nations man.

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Lineups:

Australia: Jordan Petaia, Tom Wright, Hunter Paisami, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper, Rob Leota, Cadeyrn Neville, Matt Philip, Taniela Tupou, David Porecki, Angus Bell. Reserves: Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Nick Frost, Pete Samu, Jake Gordon, James O’Connor, Izaia Perese.

England: Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Owen Farrell (captain), Tommy Freeman, Marcus Smith, Jack van Poortvliet, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola. Reserves: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack Willis, Danny Care, Henry Arundell.

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