Betham to become 12th player to debut for wallabies in 2013
NEW South Wales winger Peter Betham will become the 12th player to debut for the Wallabies this year, in tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup clash against the All Blacks in Dunedin.
The New Zealand-born Betham replaces Joe Tomane (hamstring).
Scott Fardy, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Israel Folau, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Jesse Mogg, Ben Mowen, Scott Sio, Matt Toomua, and Nic White have also debuted this year.
Coach Ewen McKenzie says Betham (pictured) deserves his call-up, but needs to make the most of his opportunity.
"The reality of rugby is that most players get an opportunity at the misfortune of one of their team-mates, but it's about what each individual does with that opportunity that counts the most," McKenzie said.
"That doesn't just apply to Peter but to a number of guys who are receiving a chance this week. There is no better way to make your mark than by playing well against the All Blacks."
With Scott Fardy (eye) unavailable through injury, McKenzie was forced to reshuffle his back row. Ben Mowen moves to blindside flanker and Ben McCalman is named at No.8.
Matt Toomua will start at inside centre, with Christian Leali'ifano (ankle) sidelined.
Queensland Reds playmaker Will Genia will make his 50th Test appearance and join George Gregan (139) and Nick Farr Jones (63) as only the third Australian scrumhalf to accomplish the milestone.
The All Blacks, who are chasing a record-equalling 30th consecutive win on home soil, beat the Wallabies in the two previous Bledisloe Cup Tests this year, 47-29 in Sydney and 27-16 in Wellington. The Wallabies have not beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand since 2001.
- RICHARD HARVEY
Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Peter Betham, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen, James Horwill (c), Rob Simmons, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, James Slipper. Reserves: Saia Faingaa, Benn Robinson, Sekope Kepu, Sitaleki Timani, Dave Dennis, Nic White, Mike Harris, Bernard Foley