Banks At Fullback For Wallabies

· The Rugby Championship
by Brumbies Media

Plus500 Brumbies star Tom Banks will start at fullback for the Wallabies Rugby Championship opener against the Springboks in Johannesburg. 

Michael Cheika confirmed his first side for 2019 which includes five Brumbies in the starting XV, including Banks. 

Who would wear 15 for the Wallabies has been a highly debated issue, but Banks' blend of attacking weapons to go along with a maturing defensive game means he get's a deserved first crack at fullback. 

Off the back of an incredible first season in Canberra, the clash will mark a return to the Test arena for James Slipper - 959 days after his last International against England at Twickenham on the 2016 Spring Tour. Folau Fainga'a will pack down alongside Slipper at hooker, while Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa were unavailable due to injury.

Rory Arnold was in career form last season, and gets a well-earned start at lock. 

In the backs, Tevita Kuridrani's play for the Australian conference champion Brumbies means he will line up at 13 with Samu Kerevi inside him forming a powerful centre pairing. 

Christian Lealiifano returned to Australia where he is likely to feature for the Wallabies next test against Argentina in Brisbane. 

Elsewhere, backrow Isi Naisarani will make his international bow from 8. The Rebels stud played a season in Canberra before moving to Melbourne, while fellow former Brumby Nic White will start at halfback. 

Qantas Wallabies team to play South Africa at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg on Saturday 20 July, 5.05pm local (1.05am AEST)
1. James Slipper (86 Tests)
2. Folau Fainga’a (7 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (103 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (17 Tests)
5. Rory Arnold (19 Tests)
6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (11 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (91 Tests)
8. Isi Naisarani*
9. Nic White (22 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (68 Tests)
11. Reece Hodge (33 Tests)
12. Samu Kerevi (25 Tests)
13. Tevita Kuridrani (58 Tests)
14. Dane Haylett-Petty (30 Tests)
15. Tom Banks (3 Tests)
16. Jordan Uelese (2 Tests)
17. Harry Johnson-Holmes*
18. Taniela Tupou (11 Tests)
19. Rob Simmons (94 Tests)
20. Jack Dempsey (10 Tests)
21. Will Genia (100 Tests)
22. Matt To’omua (42 Tests)
23. Kurtley Beale (83 Tests)