Wallabies

Hansen targets areas to pressure Wallabies

New Zealand blew Australia away in the first half of each of the last two Bledisloe season openers and have held the coveted trophy since 2003.

But the hard work of his Australian counterpart Michael Cheika in endeavouring to close the gap between the trans-Tasman rivals hasn't gone unnoticed by Hansen.

"I think they are a good side, they've improved a heck of a lot," Hansen said.

"They've done a lot of hard work on their running lines and their core set piece roles.

"Their scrum has got better, looking at it against Ireland.

'Mind games' not fooling Wallabies

Barrett's starting spot has come into question, with calls for Crusaders star Richie Mo'unga to be handed the All Blacks No.10 jumper after guiding his side to back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

But Foley is having none of it, believing it's crazy to suggest New Zealand's 2016 and 2017 world player of the year won't be calling the shots once again.

"I can't see why there'd be any different. He's been a stalwart there for a few years," he said.

"He's world player of the year at the moment, isn't he? I think it's more internal mind games.

Paenga-Amosa's passion contagious for Wallabies: Kepu

The end of a whirlwind journey from being a garbage man playing club rugby, to becoming a Wallaby, and the beginning of a new chapter as a Test player.

His passion was certainly not missed by Wallabies tighthead Sekope Kepu, who stood next to the new hooker in the lineup.

“I've got my eyes closed so I can't really what he's going on but I could hear him next to me and we just both belting it out,” he said.

“As I say to the guys coming through, if you're lucky you sing it once, if you're blessed, you get to sing it twice - after the game as well.

Best yet to come for Wallabies attack: Beale

Beale was arguably the Wallabies' most dangerous player with ball in hand on Saturday, showing his class with a gliding run across field to set up the Israel Folau try which was eventually disallowed.

His combination with Bernard Foley made the Wallabies attack look far more potent than the Irish charge but Beale said the offensive output will only increase from here.

"I think across the park, combinations are key - especially when there is a short turnaround," he said.

Robertson replaces Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa was in the side to face Ireland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane Saturday, however, the Brumbies prop succumbed to a knock to his ankle sustained during training Thursday.

Australia have now added Robertson to the bench in response to the 24-year-old's injury, it was announced Friday.

Waratahs prop Robertson has not featured for the Wallabies since last year's clash with England at Twickenham in November.

Timu, Paenga-Amosa handed Test debuts

The Reds pair have been named at hooker and No. 8, respectively, with Pete Samu also set to make his debut from the bench.

Timu's inclusion pushes David Pocock to blindside flanker, with captain Michael Hooper to start at openside.

Izack Rodda will pack down alongside Adam Coleman in the second row, with Sekope Kepu earning the nod over Taniela Tupou at tighthead prop.

Faingaa owns firebrand tag

The 23-year-old landed himself in hot water in the 63rd minute of the Brumbies' big win over the Bulls in Pretoria a fortnight ago - shown a red card after headbutting Matthys Basson.

The sendoff came with the match precariously poised and while ACT went on to claim a season defining win, Faingaa can't makes the same mistake against Ireland, should he earn a debut.

The hit first, think later approach to his game is exactly why Faingaa is in the frame for a debut but he knows the aggression he brings to the side must be controlled.

NZR asking $50k for Samu: report

The Samu saga took an intriguing twist late on Thursday when NZ Rugby said it would allow Crusaders loose forward Samu to be temporarily released from his NZR contract to play for Australia in the three-Test series in June but with conditions on it.

NZR refused to disclose the conditions, but The Daily Telegraph are reporting NZR are asking for $50,000 and that their Australian counterparts are unlikely to agree to the deal.

Cheika names June Series squad with room for one more

Samu signed a two-year deal with the Brumbies this week, making the Melbourne-born forward eligible for the Wallabies, pending a release from New Zealand Rugby, due to his Super Rugby contract obligations.

It's a decision NZR said on Tuesday they were still mulling over and on Wednesday night, when Cheika named his squad, he said he couldn't pick Samu, but the backrower had a spot in the squad should he be released.

NZR hold Cheika in limbo over Samu

There are five uncapped players in Cheika's 33-man squad but Samu who signed with a two-year deal with the Brumbies this week isn't one of them.

Rugby Australia had submitted an official request to New Zealand Rugby for the release of the Australian born Samu but approval was yet to come through.

While World Rugby's regulations force the release of players for Test duty in June, there is a sub-clause that allows unions to deny such requests when the player holds dual eligibility.