Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named former Rugby League star Curtis Rona to debut in Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup opener at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.



Rona, who starred for the Western Force in his first full season of Vodafone Super Rugby, will line-up on the left wing with Dane Haylett-Petty succumbing to a bicep injury.



The opening Bledisloe clash also sees the return of Kurtley Beale, who will pull on the gold jersey for the first time since the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final. Surprisingly, Saturday night's clash will be the first time that Beale will wear the number 12 jersey at Test level.



Even more remarkably, the Wallabies have also never started a Test with a backline featuring Beale, flyhalf Bernard Foley and fullback Israel Folau.

Beale will partner Queensland star Samu Kerevi in the centres after the latter missed the June Test Series with an ankle injury. Sean McMahon will also make his return to the Test arena after a wrist injury left him sidelined during the mid-year internationals. 


1. Scott Sio (32 Tests)

2. Stephen Moore (120 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (11 Tests)

4. Rory Arnold (12 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (12 Tests)

6. Ned Hanigan (3 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (68 Tests)

8. Sean McMahon (15 Tests)

9. Will Genia (78 Tests)

10. Bernard Foley (45 Tests)

11. Curtis Rona* 

12. Kurtley Beale (60 Tests)

13. Samu Kerevi (8 Tests)

14. Henry Speight (12 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (55 Tests)

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (71 Tests)

17. Tom Robertson (9 Tests)

18. Sekope Kepu (80 Tests)

19. Rob Simmons (71 Tests)

20. Lopeti Timani (7 Tests)

21. Nick Phipps (52 Tests)

22. Reece Hodge (13 Tests)

23. Tevita Kuridrani (47 Tests)

Australia Rugby Championship Schedule

New Zealand: Saturday 19 August, 8.00 PM, ANZ Stadium, Sydney

New Zealand: Saturday 26 August, 5.35 PM, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

South Africa: Saturday 9 Sept, 6.00 PM, nib Stadium, Perth
Argentina: Saturday 16 September, 7.35PM, GIo Stadium, Canberra

South Africa: Sat 30 Sept, 8.00PM, Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Argentina: Sat 7 October, 5.05PM, Estadio Malvinas, Mendoza

Third Bledisloe Cup Test

New Zealand: Saturday 21 October, 8.00 PM, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane