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RWC Pool D Preview – Australia vs Uruguay

Uruguay coach reshuffles his squad after Georgia defeat as Los Teros prepare to face Pool D’s top two teams.

For the first time at a Rugby World Cup, Australia are to wear a special strip that reflects the heritage, history and diversity of the side and the country.

TOKYO, 3 Oct – An excited Matt To’omua says the indigenous-inspired jersey that reflects the ethnic backgrounds of the Australia squad and will be worn against Uruguay on Saturday is “kind of cool”.

With seven Wallabies boasting Samoan heritage, five of Tongan descent, four with their cultural roots in Fiji and Kurtley Beale, pictured above wearing the jersey, a proud member of Australia’s First Nations peoples, the Melbourne Rebels centre cannot wait to wear it.

“To see an indigenous jersey filled with a team full of brown guys is kind of cool and kind of different,” said To’omua. “It is very much indigenous art and an indigenous jersey, but it is representative of society changing in a sport that, in the past, was once seen as being upper-class, white-collar.

“It’s recognition of quite a few things regarding where we are moving as a society – it’s quite exciting. The make-up of the Wallabies team is a lot different culturally than it was 10 years ago. So, we are getting little things like this. While it’s just a different jersey, it means a lot to a lot of people back home.”

To’omua is quick to highlight the indigenous heritage that lies at the heart of the jersey. The design features a wallaby motif woven around 14 watering holes, representing the 14 players of indigenous descent to have so far played for Australia.

It starts with celebrated scrum-half Cecil Ramali, who lined up against the All Blacks in 1939, and stretches through such recent luminaries as the Ella brothers, Mark, Glen and Garry, and Wendell Sailor before reaching Saturday’s full-back Beale.

“Obviously, we are very fortunate at the moment that we have got Kurtley in the team and he has shared with us quite a lot of stories in terms of what it means and getting recognition for the first people of our country,” To’omua said.

“We have had a chequered history there and to start getting that recognition is quite exciting.”

The shirt has previously been worn twice by the Wallabies – against the All Blacks in Brisbane in 2017 and against England at Twickenham a year later, but it is taking it to the world stage that has Beale buzzing.

“He’s a good mate of mine and he’s a bit more happy this week,” said Wallaby number eight Jack Dempsey. “In 2017, the guy (artist Dennis Golding) that designed it came in to talk to us and ‘KB’ (Beale) told us about what the jersey meant to him.

“It’s not something we only bring out for this kind of week. We have a lot of Polynesian boys and different cultures in the team, so it’s something we are always sharing and experiencing together through the whole year.”

TOKYO, 3 Oct – Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses has made nine changes to the team that lost to Georgia for Saturday’s Pool D match against Australia at Oita Stadium.

This is the highest number of changes made by Los Teros in between RWC matches. Prior to this selection, Los Teros had never made more than six changes.

Centre Andres Vilaseca will captain his country for the third time. He skippered Uruguay in a 67-15 triumph over Chile on 24 June, 2018 but has only worn the armband once since – against an Argentina XV on 15 June, 2019.

Vilalesca, hooker German Kessler, second-row Manuel Leindekar, full-back Rodrigo Silva, winger Nicolas Freitas and fly-half Felipe Berchesi, above, all retain their places to make a third start at RWC 2019.

Silva, who started the first two matches on the left-wing, switches to full-back for this encounter.

Berchesi – Player of the Match in Los Teros’ victory over Fiji – has already established a Los Teros record at a single World Cup with 17 points and will be looking to add to his all-time RWC tally of 32 points in the game against the Wallabies.

There’s no place in the 23 for centre Juan Manuel Cat, who scored a crucial try in the defeat of Fiji.

RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED

AUS (on 83.51 points) -vs- URU (on 69.18 points) in a RWC match

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will URU
overtake AUS?
If AUS win by 1-15 points 0.000 83.51 69.18 No
If AUS win by more than 15 0.000 83.51 69.18 No
If result is a draw 2.000 81.51 71.18 No
If URU win by 1-15 points 4.000 79.51 73.18 No
If URU win by more than 15 6.000 77.51 75.18 No

1 James Slipper 2 Folau Fainga’a 3 Allan Alaalatoa 4 Rob Simmons 5 Adam Coleman 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 7 Michael Hooper (capt.) 8 Jack Dempsey 9 Nic White 10 Christian Lealiifano 11 Jordan Petaia 12 Matt Toomua 13 Tevita Kuridrani 14 Dane Haylett-Petty 15 Kurtley Beale
16 Jordan Uelese 17 Sekope Kepu 18 Taniela Tupou 19 Rory Arnold 20 David Pocock 21 Will Genia 22 James O’Connor 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper

1. Juan Echeverria 2. German Kessler 3. Diego Arbelo 4. Franco Lamanna 5. Manuel Leindekar 6. Manuel Ardao 7. Juan Diego Ormaechea 8. Manuel Diana 9. Agustin Ormaechea 10. Felipe Berchesi 11. Nicolas Freitas 12. Andres Vilaseca (capt.) 13. Tomas Inciarte 14. Federico Favaro 15. Rodrigo Silva
16. Guillermo Pujadas 17. Joaquin Jaunsolo 18. Juan Pedro Rombys 19. Ignacio Dotti 20. Juan Manuel Gaminara 21. Santiago Arata 22. Felipe Etcheverry 23. Agustin Della Corte

Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: Oita Stadium, Oita
Kick-off: 14:15 local
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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