Karmichael Hunt dropped from Wallabies team for Bledisloe Cup


Karmichael HuntWALLABIES coach Michael Cheika has surprisingly left Karmichael Hunt out of his squad for Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane.

Hunt is fit and available after recovering from an ankle injury and was thought to be a certain inclusion for the clash against New Zealand, having starred in the June window.

But Cheika has decided against calling up the 30-year-old, keeping Samu Kerevi as the bench cover for the centre positions.

Rob Simmons has been elevated to the starting line-up to replace Izack Rodda, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday, in the only change to the Australian team that toppled Argentina 37-20 in Mendoza two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Ned Hanigan has been brought back onto the bench after he was excluded for the match against Los Pumas.

Former skipper Stephen Moore has also been named among the reserves, for what will be his last Test match on Australian soil and his 125th overall — making him the ninth-most capped international of all time.

The third clash in two months against the All Blacks is a dead rubber, after August’s nailbiter in Dunedin sealed a 15th consecutive Bledisloe Cup series victory for the world champions.

But the Wallabies will be out to prove a point after finishing second in the Rugby Championship with a string of solid, consistent performances.

Wallabies: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper, Jack Dempsey, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio

Reserves: Stephen Moore, Tom Robertson, Allan Alaalatoa, Lukhan Tui, Ned Hanigan, Nick Phipps, Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight