In Fiji:

November 17, 2022, 12:45 pm
Fiji News, Sports, World

Nawaqanitawase set to start against Ireland

Story By: FIJI TV Team

Mark Nawaqanitawase is set to start on the wing as the Wallabies prepare to face Ireland in Dublin.

The Waratah became Wallaby no.961 during their one-point defeat to Italy last week as Rennie made a raft of changes.

Rennie has noted throughout the Spring Tour that he would look to play his strongest side against the world number one Irish, with Wallabies officials confirming Nawaqanitawase will retain his place in the side on Sunday morning.

The decision to rest a host of star players has garnered plenty of criticism after the Italian defeat, with the likes of Nic White, James Slipper and Michael Hooper rested.

White has given some context to the decision, believing it was well and truly needed as they conclude a long 2022 season.

“For me it’s been a long year so it was always the plan to start one (Test), bench one and have one off as you’ve seen with the nines rotating,” he told reporters.

“I certainly feel pretty good this Monday as compared to last Monday (after France). It’s been a pretty big year for all of us, it was the second game I’ve missed, the other was for the birth of my son.

“I’ve played a lot of footy this year and I think it was good planning going ahead. I used last week to make sure my body is in a really good place come this week.”

The Wallabies have rallied around young playmaker Ben Donaldson after his last-minute conversion sailed to the right.

Fellow flyhalf Bernard Foley understands the highs and lows of being in that position, famously kicking a late penalty to secure the NSW Waratahs’ Super Rugby title in 2014.

He backs the 23-year-old to rebound, with Foley set to play his final game before returning to Japan.

“The ones you miss are probably the ones you remember more from kicking but Ben’s a good kid, I’ve spoken to him before and after about how he can back his process,” Foley believes.

“It’s probably unfair to put that loss on him or anything like that, he came on and made a difference, I thought he had some classy involvements in what I hope is the start of a long career.”