Rona to debut against All Blacks

Australia coach Michael Cheika has handed Curtis Rona a debut in the Wallabies team to play New Zealand in the Rugby Championship opener on Saturday.

Rona, a rugby league convert, will line up on the wing to replace Force teammate Dane Haylett-Petty, who has been ruled out with a bicep injury. 

Kurtley Beale makes his first start since the 2015 World Cup final at inside centre while Samu Kerevi starts at outside centre.

Meanwhile, Sean McMahon will wear the number eight jersey alongside blindside flanker Ned Hanigan and captain Michael Hooper in the loose trio.

Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman lock down in the second row while Stephen Moore reclaims the number two jersey from Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Tevita Kuridrani

Date: Saturday, August 19
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Andy Brace (Ireland)
Television match official: Rowan Kitt (England)

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