Westpac NSW Blues forward Jake Trbojevic returns to the Australian pack this weekend, when he plays his 13th Test for the Kangaroos in Week Three of the 2023 Pacific Championships.
Trbojevic is one of six NSW Blues named by coach Mal Meninga to face the New Zealand Kiwis at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The last time the 29-year-old Manly Warringah stalwart played for Australia was in the World Cup final in November 2022. He starts as prop this weekend replacing NSW teammate Payne Haas, who is being rested alongside Blues back-rower Liam Martin.
Among the other five NSW Origin players in green and gold is Cronulla-Sutherland halfback Nicho Hynes, who will make his Australian debut off the bench. He played for the Prime Minister’s XIII against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby last month.
James Tedesco remains at fullback against the Kiwis, while Kotoni Staggs, who scored a try on debut against Samoa a fortnight ago, retains his spot in the centres. Cameron Murray and Isaah Yeo hold their starting spots in the Kangaroos back row.
It is an all-NSW Sky Blues back row for the Jillaroos clash against the Kiwi Ferns with Kezie Apps, Olivia Kernick and Simaima Taufa named today.
They are among nine Sky Blues named by Australian coach Brad Donald for the match at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
Centres Jessica Sergis and Isabelle Kelly once again form the backbone in the outside backs with NSW winger Jaime Chapman on the right flank.
The bench has Sky Blues Emma Tonegato, Yasmin Clydsdale and Kennedy Cherrington in the mix, while starting hooker from Week One – Keeley Davis – is on an extended Jillaroos bench with NSW teammates Shaylee Bent and Teagan Berry.
Kelly was not among the try scorers in Australia’s 16-10 win over the Ferns in Townsville two weeks ago.
She has the chance to jump one try ahead of Sam Bremner as overall leading try-scorer for the Jillaroos. The pair are locked on 14 tries each, with Bremner retiring after last year’s World Cup win.