Carter Gordon benched by coach Eddie Jones after poor World Cup showing

Rookie Wallabies fly-half Carter Gordon has been dropped to the bench and replaced by Ben Donaldson in the No.10 jersey for Australia’s must-win Rugby World Cup clash against Wales.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has unceremoniously dumped Gordon, his first-choice and only true fly-half in the World Cup squad, having yanked him from the field with more than 30 minutes to go in Australia’s shock 22-15 loss to Fiji last Monday which has left their tournament teetering on the brink of all -out disaster.

Instead Donaldson, who was a shock selection at fullback for the opening two games, will shift in to the playmaking role with Andrew Kellaway called into the team to wear the No.15 custodian’s jersey against the Welsh in Lyon on Monday morning (AEST)

Halfback Nic White has also been shifted back to the bench to make room for the fit-again Tate McDermott, who missed the loss to Fiji due to concussion protocols.

However, despite the ongoing absence of injured skipper Will Skelton (calf), and McDermott being the squad’s official vice-captain, hooker David Porecki – who led the team against the Fijians – has retained the captaincy.

Tate McDermott will return for the Wallabies against Wales. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Also dropped from Australia’s starting team is Fraser McReight, with Rob Leota his back-row replacement.

Jones also axed prop Zane Nonggorr, halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and outside back Lalakai Foketi from the bench, while Jordan Uelese was replaced as the reserve hooker because of concussion protocol.

Tom Hooper retains his spot but will shift to the openside flanker role previously occupied by McReight, with Leota to fill the blindside flanker’s role.

The bench includes tighthead prop Pone Fa’amausili, who has been named for the first time in the tournament after recovering from a calf injury.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “Every team has matches like this during a Rugby World Cup and for this young team it is this week.

“We’ve prepared well, are focused on what we need to do, and we’ll be ready to fight.”

Wallabies team:

1. Angus Bell (26 Tests)

2. David Porecki (c) (17 Tests)

3. James Slipper (132 Tests)

4. Nick Frost (13 Tests)

5. Richie Arnold (7 Tests)

6. Rob Leota (19 Tests)

7. Tom Hooper (6 Tests)

8. Rob Valetini (37 Tests)

9. Tate McDermott (27 Tests)

10. Ben Donaldson (5 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (57 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (47 Tests)

13. Jordan Petaia (30 Tests)

14. Mark Nawaqanitawase (8 Tests)

15. Andrew Kellaway (24 Tests)


16. Matt Faessler (3 Tests)

17. Blake Schoupp (3 Tests)

18. Pone Fa’amausili (5 Tests)

19. Matt Philip (30 Tests)

20. Fraser McReight (15 Tests)

21. Nic White (65 Tests)

22. Carter Gordon (7 Tests)

23. Suliasi Vunivalu (5 Tests)

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