Bernard Foley gets nod for Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup clash with All Blacks | Bledisloe Cup


Bernard Foley has returned to the Wallabies side three years after his last Test, taking over the No 10 jersey for their Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand in Melbourne on Thursday night.

The 32-year-old, who has played 71 Tests, has earned a start at Marvel Stadium with young playmaker Noah Lolesio ruled out after suffering a concussion in their loss to South Africa in Sydney earlier this month.

Coach Dave Rennie will unveil the rest of his team on Tuesday but centre Hunter Paisami is another likely casualty after also leaving Allianz Stadium following a head knock.

There will be a certain change to the starting second row with Rory Arnold missing the two New Zealand Tests with his baby due.

The Wallabies are looking to snap a 19-year Bledisloe Cup drought with the Thursday night game the first midweek trans-Tasman fixture since 1994, when Australia beat the All Blacks via George Gregan’s famous tackle.

Foley has spent the past three years playing in Japan, departing the international scene following the 2019 World Cup. But Rennie was keen to tap into his experience after losing fellow veteran Quade Cooper to a ruptured Achilles tendon and with James O’Connor out of favour.

Foley joined the squad before the two Rugby Championship Tests – which resulted in a win and a loss – focusing on getting up to speed with the team machinations and sharpening his skills.

Assistant coach Dan McKellar said that he had been impressed by what Foley had brought to the Wallabies since his return.

“He’s been a good fit since he’s come back and I’ve really enjoyed meeting him and getting to know him,” McKellar said. “He’s a good man, good team man and he helped us prepare really well in those first couple of weeks since he’s been back.”