Wallabies winger Henry Speight will make his Test debut for Australia in Saturday’s Lansdowne Cup and Spring Tour clash against Ireland at Aviva Stadium. Speight, 26, will become the third player to make his debut for the Australians this November, joining Sean McMahon and Tetera Faulkner, and is one of four changes made to the starting line-up for Saturday. The other changes see lock Sam Carter, backrower Luke Jones and centre Matt Toomua come into a starting XV which boasts 488 games of Test experience.
Jones has earned his first run-on opportunity for the Wallabies in just his second match at Test level, following his debut against France in Melbourne in June, while Carter and Toomua will both earn their 10th cap for the Aussies in 2014. An extended bench has been selected, with the final line-up to be confirmed and announced closer to the match. “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. He is very passionate about representing Australia and we’re all looking forward to seeing him bring his best attributes to our game. The other changes have been made to give the other players who have been knocking on the door an opportunity to start a Test match on this tour. 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,” Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.
The match is Australia’s fourth of their five-game Spring Tour, and will be followed by a final game against England at Twickenham next weekend. The Australians commenced their Spring Tour and the Michael Cheika era with an entertaining 40-36 victory over the Barbarians at Twickenham and toppled Wales 33-28 at Millennium Stadium, before going down 29-26 to France at Stade de France last weekend.
The Wallabies side to play Ireland for the Lansdowne Cup at Aviva Stadium on Saturday 22 November is:
1. James Slipper (Queensland Reds- 61 Tests)
2. Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds – 34 Tests)
3. Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs – 50 Tests)
4. Sam Carter (ACT Brumbies – 9 Tests)
5. Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds – 48 Tests)
6. Luke Jones (Melbourne Rebels – 1 Test)
7. Michael Hooper (c – NSW Waratahs – 40 Tests)
8. Ben McCalman (Western Force – 36 Tests)
9. Nick Phipps (NSW Waratahs – 26 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (NSW Waratahs – 16 Tests)
11. Henry Speight (ACT Brumbies – uncapped)*
12. Matt Toomua (ACT Brumbies – 19 Tests)
13. Tevita Kuridrani (ACT Brumbies – 19 Tests)
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs – 102 Tests)
15. Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs – 27 Tests)
**Three to be omitted