Michael Cheika has named his Australia squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship

Australia Rugby Championship Squad 2018

The pressure keeps on mounting for Michael Cheika as the Wallabies currently sit at the bottom of the 2018 Rugby Championship table with only one win from five games. Their final match of the tournament is against Argentina and is a must-win for sure.

As a result, Bernard Foley has come in to the fly-half role after being dropped from Round 2 onwards. Kurtley Beale shifts over to the midfield with Matt Toomua dropping to the bench. The other change comes in the replacements with Tolu Latu securing one of the nine sots instead of Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Michael Cheika said; “Losing on the Gold Coast hurt us and we’ll be looking to get some of that back on Saturday.

“What do we need to change? The most important thing is just a single commitment to every play, especially in the forwards.”

Australia team to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 6th October 

Sio, Faingaa, Tupou, Rodda, Coleman, Hanigan, Hooper, Pocock, Genia, Foley, Koroibete, Beale, Hodge, Folau, Haylett-Petty

Replacements: Latu, Kepu, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Arnold, Timu, Phipps, Toomua, Banks

Australia team to face South Africa in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 29th September 

Sio, Polota-Nau, Tupou, Coleman, Rodda, Hanigan, Hooper, Pocock, Genia, Beale, Koroibete, Toomua, Hodge, Folau, Haylett-Petty

Replacements: Faingaa, Kepu, Alaalatoa, Arnold, Simmons, Phipps, Foley, Maddocks

Australia team to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 15th September 

Sio, Polota-Nau, Alaalatoa, Arnold, Rodda, Tui, Pocock, Samu, Genia, Beale, Koroibete, Toomua, Hodge, Folau, Haylett-Petty

Replacements: Faingaa, Robertson, Tupou, Coleman, Hanigan, Powell, Foley

Australia team to face South Africa in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 8th September 

Sio, Polota-Nau, Alaalatoa, Arnold, Rodda, Tui, Hooper, Samu, Genia, Beale, Koroibete, Toomua, Hodge, Maddocks, Haylett-Petty

Replacements: Faingaa, Robertson, Tupou, Hanigan, Powell, Foley

Australia team to face New Zealand in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 25th August

Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Alaalatoa, Rodda, Coleman, Tui, Hooper, Pocock, Genia, Foley, Koroibete, Beale, Hodge, Maddocks, Haylett-Petty

Replacements: Faingaa, Robertson, Kepu, Simmons, Samu, Phipps, Toomua, Tom Banks

Australia team to face New Zealand in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 18th August 

Robertson, Polota-Nau, Kepu, Rodda, Coleman, Tui, Hooper, Pocock, Genia, Foley, Koroibete, Beale, Hodge, Haylett-Petty, Folau

Replacements: Latu, Alaalatoa, Tupou, Simmons, Samu, Phipps , Toomua, Maddocks

Fresh off the back of a narrow series loss to Ireland, Australia head into the 2018 Rugby Championship thoroughly tested and battle hardened. The series with Ireland was incredibly close, with both sides scoring 55 points across the three Tests.

Despite the series defeat, Australia head into the Rugby Championship well prepared and Michael Cheika has recently named his full training squad for the tournament, where they face the All Blacks back-to-back in their first two games.

Creative stars like Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley and Will Genia are all involved while Taniela Tupou is one to watch in the front row. Michael Hooper and David Pocock will once again team up in the back row.

Tatafu Polota-Nau, based in England with Leicester Tigers, has been selected as a result of the ‘Giteau rule’, which provides exemption for players not playing at home in Australia. Polota-Nau has the required minimum of 60 caps and will bring some much-needed experience to the side.

Return: Polota-Nau playing for the Wallabies in 2017 (Getty Images)

The inclusion of Matt Toomua is also noteworthy. He, too, is based with Leicester, but does not reach the 60-cap mark. However, he will leave the Tigers for Melbourne Rebels at the end of the season and has thus been selected.

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Midfield regulars Tevita Kuridrani and Samuel Kerevi have been ruled out by injury and Cheika has selected six uncapped players in the squad.

They are Jermaine Ainsley, Folau Faingaa, Tom Banks, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes and Jordan Petaia.

Australia Rugby Championship Squad 2018

Forwards: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Folau Faingaa, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Robertson, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Caleb Timu, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.

Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Billy Meakes, Sefa Naivalu, Jordan Petaia, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Matt Toomua.

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