25 Aug 2017

Wallabies back rookie to make impact

6:18 pm on 25 August 2017

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper has backed Izack Rodda to make the most of an unexpected Test debut against New Zealand.

Wallabies lock Adam Coleman is tackled by All Black prop Joe Moody in the first Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney.

Wallabies lock Adam Coleman is tackled by All Black prop Joe Moody in the first Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney. Photo: Photosport

Adam Coleman's late withdrawal with a shoulder injury means Rodda will come off the bench in tomorrow's second Bledisloe Cup clash in Dunedin.

It caps off a meteoric rise for the 21-year-old from Lismore.

He only made his Super Rugby debut for the Queensland Reds at the start of this year but impressed so much in his 12 appearances that the franchise saw fit to dispense with stalwart Rob Simmons and stick with Rodda as a long-term lock option.

He also only found out he would be playing at Forsyth Barr Stadium this morning.

Hooper admitted it was a "huge blow" for the Wallabies to lose Coleman and said they'd sorely miss his physical presence.

But he said he was excited to see how "big lump of a bloke" Rodda would handle being thrown into the Bledisloe cauldron.

"You're never ready," Hooper told reporters.

"You're in the best possible position you can be in and you've just got to get out there and do what you do.

"I've been really impressed with Rodds throughout the year. He's just got to get in the jersey and do his thing."

Mike Cheika - selectionneur (Australie)

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said on Thursday he had been impressed by Rodda's training output.

Meanwhile, Lopeti Timani has won his battle with Jack Dempsey for the loose forward spot on the bench.

Everything stacked against Wallabies

Even Michael Cheika reckons supporters would be well within their rights if they didn't give the Wallabies a hope in hell tomorrow.

Few outside the team bubble do.

The Wallabies are seeking to atone for last weekend's 54-34 defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney and must win on Saturday to avoid a 15th consecutive series defeat.

However, to do so they they will need to secure their first win on New Zealand soil since 2001.

Bookmakers have installed Australia at the longest odds they've ever been heading into a clash against world champions New Zealand.

Cheika gets it.

"I think no-one does (expect us to win), to be honest," he said today.

"People would be justified to think that.

"It's up to us to write our own chapters if we want to change that attitude around.

"Like I've said before, only we can turn that around on the field. We do lots of good stuff away from the field but what counts is on the field for everybody. We know that.

"We've got to let our game do the talking tomorrow, that's it."