Australia lineup for second match in Melbourne, Liam Wright injury news, Josh Nasser to debut

Queensland hooker Josh Nasser is poised to become the eighth Wallabies debutant this month after being named on Australia’s bench for Saturday’s second Test against Wales in Melbourne.

Nasser is the son of former Reds backrower Brendan Nasser, who played eight Tests for the Wallabies and was a member of the 1991 Rugby World Cup winning squad.

The 25-year-old has replaced Brumbies rake Billy Pollard on the bench while, as expected, Wallabies captain Liam Wright has been ruled out with injury.

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Josh Nasser during a Wallabies training session at Ballymore Stadium.

Josh Nasser during a Wallabies training session at Ballymore Stadium. Getty

That means veteran prop James Slipper will captain the Wallabies for the 15th time while Brumbies No.8 Charlie Cale, who came off the bench in Australia’s first Test win in Sydney, will make his first start.

That is the only change to Joe Schmidt’s run on side but there is a shake up on the bench.

Force pivot Ben Donaldson will provide playmaking cover behind Noah Lolesio after Tom Lynagh suffered an injury at training.

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Ben Donaldson of Australia celebrates with Carter Gordon.

Ben Donaldson of Australia celebrates with Carter Gordon. Getty

Waratahs loose forward Langi Gleeson also gets a recall on the back of Wright’s injury while Force halfback Nic White is preferred to Tate McDermott as the bench option at AAMI Park.

Australia’s much needed 25-16 victory at Allianz Stadium lifted the Wallabies above Italy into eighth on the world rankings.

“We found out a bit about ourselves last week and are looking forward to learning a bit more on Saturday night,” Schmidt said.

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“We’ve worked hard again this week in Melbourne and will be going out to earn the support of those in the stands and those at home on Saturday night.”

Meanwhile, Wales have suffered a major injury blow with star No.8 Aaron Wainwright ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Taine Plumtree – the son of former All Blacks assistant coach John – starts in his place while James Botham, the grandson of England cricket legend Ian, gets a promotion at blindside flanker.

Wales forward James Botham at Principality Stadium.

Wales forward James Botham at Principality Stadium. Getty

Veteran Liam Williams has been shifted to the wing to replace the injured Josh Hathaway with Cameron Winnett wearing the No.15.

“We’re looking forward to getting back out on the pitch this weekend in Melbourne,” Wales coach Warren Gatland said.

“This week we’ve been going through our processes, building on what worked well and sharpening the areas that need improvement.

“We expect Australia to go up another level this weekend and we know we need to as well. We want to start well and make sure we are disciplined and accurate from the off.

“Then it’s about keeping in the arm wrestle for the duration.”

The Test kicks off at 7.45pm AEST with coverage on Stan Sport from 7pm AEST.

AUSTRALIA (15-1): Tom Wright, Andrew Kellaway, Josh Flook, Hunter Paisami, Filipo Daugunu, Noah Lolesio, Jake Gordon, Charlie Cale, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Jeremy Williams, Taniela Tupou, Matt Faessler, James Slipper (c)

Reserves: Josh Nasser, Isaac Kailea, Allan Alaalatoa, Angus Blyth, Langi Gleeson, Nic White, Ben Donaldson, Dylan Pietsch

WALES (15-1): Cameron Winnett, Liam Williams, Owen Watkin, Mason Grady, Rio Dyer, Ben Thomas, Ellis Bevan, Taine Plumtree, Tommy Reffell, James Botham, Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza, Archie Griffin, Dewi Lake (c), Gareth Thomas

Reserves: Evan Lloyd, Kemsley Mathias, Harri O’Connor, Cory Hill, Mackenzie Martin, Kieran Hardy, Sam Costelow, Nick Tompkins

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)