Speight to make Australia debut against Ireland

Saturday, 22 November 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Fiji-born winger Henry Speight will make his debut for Australia against Ireland on Saturday after being named in the starting lineup for the third test of the Wallabies’ tour of Europe. The tackle-busting winger qualified for Australia on residency grounds on 11 September but a hamstring injury prevented him from getting any game time during the Rugby Championship. His inclusion in place of ACT Brumbies team mate Joe Tomane is one of four changes to the starting side that lost 29-26 to France in Paris last week. Matt Toomua returns at inside centre for his Brumbies team mate Christian Lealiifano, while Luke Jones will make his first start at blindside flanker in place of fellow Melbourne Rebel Sean McMahon. In the second row, Sam Carter has earned back the starting second row berth he gave up to former skipper James Horwill for last week’s match at Stade de France. Versatile back Kurtley Beale, controversially recalled to the squad despite his part in a text message scandal that resulted in the departure of previous coach Ewen McKenzie, was named among the replacements. Speight, who was compared by McKenzie to fullback Israel Folau when first called into the Wallabies squad in July, has built a fearsome reputation for bulldozing over defenders in Super Rugby. “Henry has done all the right things to earn his selection, has had an outstanding Super Rugby season and deserves his opportunity to play for Australia,” coach Michael Cheika said in a team release. “He is very passionate about representing Australia and we’re all looking forward to seeing him bring his best attributes to our game. “All our changes will bring a new energy into the team and I know everyone is looking forward to the opportunities our match against Ireland will bring.” Australia won the first test of their tour 33-28 against Wales in Cardiff and round it out against England at Twickenham on 29 November.    

 Ireland bring back big guns for Wallabies test

  Reuters: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt made two changes from the side that beat South Africa for Saturday’s test against Australia as the Six Nations champions eye their first November series sweep in eight years. Ireland followed up their superb 29-15 victory over the Springboks with a thrashing of Georgia on Sunday, resting most of their front-line players ahead of the visit of Australia who handed Schmidt his first loss as national team coach a year ago. With Jared Payne losing his race against fitness after a late injury in an impressive debut against South Africa, the experienced Gordon D’Arcy retains his place in the centre alongside Connacht youngster Robbie Henshaw. Fit again hooker Rory Best returns to the side to win his 78th cap, with the explosive Sean Cronin dropping to the bench. Ireland, who jumped to third in the world rankings after the 49-7 win over Georgia, last won all three of their November internationals in 2006 when they also overcame South Africa and Australia. Fiji-born winger Henry Speight will make his debut for Australia, one of four changes to the starting side that lost 29-26 to France in Paris last week.