Cheika calls in Toomua, Skelton

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has called in Will Skelton and Matt Toomua for their first appearances of the year as he rejigs his second row and centres for the final Test against England in Sydney on Saturday.

With the Wallabies facing the prospect of a 3-0 series whitewash, locks Sam Carter and Rory Arnold have made way for Rob Simmons, who returns after being dropped for the second Test loss, and Skelton, who has not played for Australia since being injured early in last year’s World Cup.

Toomua replaces Samu Kerevi at inside centre as Cheika looks to add more playmaking and guile to his midfield for the Allianz Stadium Test after a lack of penetration in Melbourne last weekend.

Toomua makes his return after a six-week lay off due to a knee injury.

“Will Skelton and Matt Toomua are back to full fitness and have worked extremely hard for their opportunity this Saturday,” said Cheika.

Cheika named an extended nine-man bench which includes giant winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, who could get his first match for the Wallabies since debuting against the United States in a World Cup warm up match last season.

Western Force lock Adam Coleman also comes onto the extended bench and could become the first Tasmanian-born Test player in Australian rugby history if he is retained when Cheika finalises his 23-man match squad.

Wallabies team: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne (vc), Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper (vc), Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (c), James Slipper. Res: (one player to be omitted): Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio, Greg Holmes, Adam Coleman, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, Nick Frisby, Christian Lealiifano, Taqele Naiyaravoro.

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