Wallabies: Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia dropped

Centres Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia have been axed by Wallabies coach Eddie Jones as Australia attempts to avoid further Rugby World Cup embarrassment against Portugal.

Following the Wallabies’ humiliating 40-6 loss to Wales, Kerevi and Petaia have not only lost their places in Australia’s starting 15 for the clash against the Portuguese on Monday morning in Saint-Étienne, they have also been dumped from the 23-man match-day squad.

Replacing them in the starting team are Waratahs pair Lalakai Foketi and Izaia Perese.

In the other change to the side that started against the Welsh, flanker Rob Leota has been dropped to the bench and replaced by Queenslander Fraser McReight.

To have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals, the Australians must secure a bonus-point win over Portugal, and hope Fiji lose at least one of its two remaining Pool C games against Georgia and Portugal.

“This is an important game for this young team to attack from the first minute to the 80th,” Wallabies coach Jones said.

“We need to empty the tank. We have a responsibility to put in a performance that makes supporters proud … those that have travelled to France and at home in Australia.”

Prop James Slipper will set a new record for the most World Cup matches by an Australian, with the game to be his 21st over four tournaments.

The Wallabies bench includes halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, who comes into the 23 at the expense of Nic White.

Wallabies team: Angus Bell, David Porecki (c), James Slipper, Nick Frost, Richie Arnold, Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini, Tate McDermott, Ben Donaldson, Marika Koroibete, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Andrew Kellaway. Bench: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Pone Fa’amausili, Rob Leota, Josh Kemeny, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Carter Gordon, Suliasi Vunivalu.

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