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St.George Queensland Reds winger Dominic Shipperley stands poised to be Australia’s newest Wallaby while 10 Reds players have been chosen in Saturday night’s Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks in Perth.
The Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate will be up for grabs on Saturday with the match being the first taste of Test rugby for the 21-year-old Shipperley, who steps up after two impressive seasons where he has achieved an excellent strike-rate patrolling the backline flanks for the Queensland Reds.
The scorer of 10 tries from just 24 appearances in Fx Pro Super Rugby, Shipperley has previously represented Australia in Schools, Under-20 and Sevens.
Long groomed as a potential star of the future, the Nudgee College (Brisbane) product was a member of the Australian Schools side when it recorded its maiden win on New Zealand soil in the 2008 trans-Tasman Schoolboys Test.
Shipperley also scored a hat-trick for the Under-20s when the side beat South Africa in the semi-finals of the 2010 Under-20 World Cup, to reach Australia’s maiden final at that event.
His selection comes just two weeks after Liam Gill, who also starred in the national Schools side a year after Shipperley had featured, became the 861st player to represent Australia in Tests, with Shipperley to claim Wallaby number 862.
Other features of the line-up named for Australia’s third match of the inaugural Rugby Championship see No 8 Radike Samo return to the Test starting pack for the first time this year, with Scott Higginbotham relocating to the bench.
The Wallabies’ are currently on record-equalling four-game winning streak against South Africa, which was continued at last year’s Rugby World Cup by a nail-biting 11-9 success which eliminated the defending champions from the tournament.
Such has been the impact of injuries and unavailability in the time since; just eight of the players who started that match in Wellington will reappear in Saturday night’s starting XV.
Six of the players selected today – Beale, Ashley-Cooper, Cooper, Genia, Alexander and Moore - have started in all four of the wins achieved by Australia through the current run.
There is also a change amongst the backline reinforcements, with Mike Harris reintroduced after he got through 80 minutes of club play in Brisbane last weekend.
The first-year Wallaby came from the bench during his most recent Test match outing, which was just the second of his career, at Melbourne in June, where he kicked a penalty goal in the final act of the match to secure Australia’s series victory in the Wales Tour.
The Queensland Reds flyhalf/inside centre will offer an additional goal-kicking option backing up the in-form boot of Berrick Barnes.
The Qantas Wallabies team to play South Africa in The Castrol Edge Rugby Championship and Mandela Challenge Plate Test at Paterson’s Stadium in Perth (kick-off: 6pm AWST, 8pm AEST) is:
15. Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels)
14. Dominic Shipperley (Queensland Reds)
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs)
12. Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs)
11. Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds)
10. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)
9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds, captain)
8. Radike Samo (Queensland Reds)
7. Michael Hooper (Brumbies)
6. Dave Dennis (NSW Waratahs)
5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)
4. Sitaleki Timani (NSW Waratahs)
3. Ben Alexander (Brumbies)
2. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)
1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)
Run on Reserves:
16. Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs)
17. James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
18. Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
19. Liam Gill (Queensland Reds)
20. Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)
21. Mike Harris (Queensland Reds)
22. Anthony Fainga’a (Queensland Reds)
23 JANUARY 2019