Foley gets first start since 2019 as Australia make eight changes

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Veteran fly-half Bernard Foley will start a Wallabies Test for the first time since the 2019 World Cup after getting the nod Tuesday among eight changes to face the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship this week.

The 33-year-old Foley, who plays in Japan, was handed another chance with Noah Lolesio ruled out with concussion, Quade Cooper sidelined with a season-ending injury and James O’Connor axed.

Foley will don the No.10 shirt for his 72nd Test at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium on Thursday — which doubles as the first Bledisloe Cup match — despite not seeing action since his Kubota Spears side last played in May. “It’s great to have Bernard’s experience and he brings plenty of voice and passion for the gold jersey,” coach Dave Rennie said.

“New Zealand showed their class in a massive win over Argentina last week and will come to Melbourne full of confidence.” The final two rounds of matches will determine the fate of the Rugby Championship, with just one point separating the table-topping All Blacks from Australia, South Africa and Argentina.—AFP

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