Rugby Rugby World Cup 2019: Jordan Petaia backed by Michael Cheika to deliver for Australia against England

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Jordan Petaia will become just the fourth teenager to play in a Rugby World Cup knockout match after Michael Cheika trusted the young centre to start against England this Saturday.

The 19-year-old was a surprise inclusion in Cheika’s Wallabies side that will face Jones’s side in Saturday’s quarter-final in Oita, with the head coach electing to replace James O’Connor at outside centre in what will only be Petaia’s fifth professional match of 2019, with a serious foot injury ruling him out of the bulk of the Super Rugby season and the Rugby Championship as well as Australia’s warm-up match with Samoa.

But despite making his debut on the wing earlier in the tournament, the Queensland Reds back has been given the nod ahead of the more experienced O’Connor to try and inspire Australia into the semi-finals after impressing his coach in Japan.

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“We didn’t sit back and earmark this game for him to come and play at 13. We just watched the games and made the assessments of each player as they went along and there were things that we liked and what we’ve seen from Jordan both on the field in games and also at training and we felt that this would be a game that would suit him.

“The guy’s been in around the squad for a while now even though he’s young, he’s more than ready to do this. The way his demeanour is you wouldn’t think he was picked, he was just loping around as per normal so it’s going to be great. I trust him infinitely and that’s why he’s been chosen.

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