Injuries to Tom Banks and Allan Alaalatoa have seen Dave Rennie mix things up ahead of their crunch Test against France in Paris.
But even if the duo weren’t injured, Rennie might well have rotated them out with the Wallabies boss wanting to give fullback Jock Campbell an opportunity while Taniela Tupou starts for the concussed Alaalatoa.
They are not the only changes either, with Nic White rotating in for Tate McDermott, who drops out of the squad to allow Jake Gordon to come onto the bench.
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As written, Will Skelton will come off the bench to help shore up the scrum with tight-head prop Tom Robertson making a return via the bench.
While Lalakai Foketi comes back in for Hunter Paisami at inside centre, with the Reds midfielder selected on the bench alongside Reece Hodge.
The Wallabies’ end of season five Test tour always shaped as a marathon and Rennie says he is conscious of not burning out his players before they arrive in Dublin and Cardiff for the final two matches later this month.
“I think playing five Tests in a row over here at this stage of the year, I reckon we’d struggle late in matches,” Rennie said.
“We’ve talked a lot about sharing the load and we want to give guys an opportunity to push for the World Cup next year and learn more about them.
“So we’ve made a handful of changes this week and we think we’ve got a really strong side on the paddock.”
The question is whether Rennie should be rotating his side when there are just nine Tests to play before the World Cup gets underway next year in France.
Wallabies hold on against Scots | 01:44
It is one thing rotating when the side is settled, but the Wallabies snapped a three-match losing streak against Scotland last weekend and have won just four of 10 Tests this year.
Rennie says he will “pick and stick” next year and added that there are a number of injured players that will come back into the selection fold.
“I think the World Cup we’ll definitely pick and stick next year,” he said.
“What we’ve got to understand is we can put our best side, or try and put our best side out every week, I reckon that’s a struggle playing five internationals in a row over here. No one does that anymore, and for what value in the end either.
“We’ve got a helluva lot of guys that aren’t here that we think will be part of our World Cup squad, and so it is important that we give opportunity for certain guys.
“We look at our three nines, we could play one of them every week but if he gets injured and doesn’t go to a World Cup and we’ve missed an opportunity over here.
“So certainly we got a number of positions that are tight and there’s not much in it, so guys have got an opportunity over the first three weeks to put their hand up for the Irish game, which we’ll pick as strong as team as we can.”
McDermott’s place in the side in particular has been debated for years.
His pass does not come close to Ken Catchpole’s or Nick Farr-Jones’, or even White for that matter, but his ability to snipe around the ruck and open up an opposition is something that gives the Wallabies a different dimension.
“Tate was good and we expected that,” Rennie said.
“He made a line break early and he got a line bend beyond that, but it was quite noticeable when Nic White came on as well, the quality of his distribution, his speed to breakdown, which allows to play quicker and play on top.
“As we’ve talked about, we’ve got three excellent 9s on tour … so it’s a position we’ve got genuine depth.”
As for Campbell, the Reds fullback faces a career-defining test at fullback against the best halves combination in the world.
Rennie revealed Banks picked up a slight ankle injury early in the 16-15 win over Scotland and said it was the opportune time to give the experienced fullback an opportunity to prove his worth.
“We were keen to give him a start on this tour, and we considered Scotland, he’d come out of an A program with good form and he’s had a really good year,” Rennie said.
“He’s trained with us for a number of weeks now and he’s really impressed us, he’s a really smart footballer, he’s got good feet and a good skill set.
“He’s not a kid, he’s had to work hard for his opportunity and at 27 he’s pretty mature, so we reckon he’s ready to go.”
Wallabies team to play France at Stade de France, Paris on Saturday 5 November, 9:00pm CET/7:00am AEDT (Sunday)
1. James Slipper (c) (124 Tests)
2. David Porecki (8 Tests)
3. Taniela Tupou (44 Tests)
4. Nick Frost (6 Tests)
5. Cadeyrn Neville (4 Tests)
6. Jed Holloway (7 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (122 Tests)
8. Rob Valetini (28 Tests)
9. Nic White (57 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (74 Tests)
11. Tom Wright (19 Tests)
12. Lalakai Foketi (4 Tests)
13. Len Ikitau (22 Tests)
14. Andrew Kellaway (19 Tests)
15. Jock Campbell (1 Test)
16. Folau Fainga’a (34 Tests)
17. Matt Gibbon (3 Tests)
18. Tom Robertson (27 Tests)
19. Will Skelton (21 Tests)
20. Pete Samu (29 Tests)
21. Jake Gordon (16 Tests)
22. Hunter Paisami (21 Tests)
23. Reece Hodge (60 Tests)