Cadeyrn Neville will become the oldest Wallabies player in more than 20 years to make his test rugby debut after his surprise inclusion in the Australia side to face England on Saturday in Perth.
The 33-year-old Neville was a confirmed starter at lock on Thursday — 10 years after he was called into the squad without earning a cap.
In 2012, Neville was in his first year playing for the Melbourne Rebels — his first of three Australian Super Rugby sides — when he was drafted into the Wallabies squad to travel to Argentina and then later on a British tour. But he never made it into a matchday 23.
But after shifting to Queensland, a stint in Japan, and then the ACT Brumbies in 2020, Neville has been rewarded. He's the third oldest player to debut for the Wallabies since World War Two, behind ex-Springbok Tiaan Strauss in 1999 (33 years, 349 days), and one-test back-rower Ken Yanz in 1958 (33 years, 295 days).
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie also named David Porecki to make his test debut. Porecki spent five years in English rugby with Saracens and London Irish before returning to Australia in 2020 and playing in the New South Wales Waratahs front row.
Michael Hooper will captain the Wallabies for the 66th time.
England coach Eddie Jones, meanwhile, said veteran flanker Courtney Lawes would retain the captaincy despite Owen Farrell's return. Named at second five-eighth, Farrell was tipped to return from injury as skipper but Jones stayed with Lawes, who led the team through the Six Nations.
It's the first time since 2018 that Farrell has been overlooked as captain.
Farrell sustained injuries to both ankles which ruled him out of the entire Six Nations. His last test was against Australia last November, when England won 32-15.
Three players could make their England debuts after being named on the bench — Australia-born centre Guy Porter, halfback Jack van Poortvliet and teenage fullback Henry Arundell.
"Picking the 23 out of this group of 36 was difficult," said Jones, who has led England to eight consecutive wins over his home country. "We feel we have a well-balanced team which is ready for this improving Australia team. We'll take it to them from the start."
The teams will play two other tests in Brisbane and Sydney on the following two Saturdays.
"The whole squad has worked hard over the past fortnight for what's going to be a tough three-test series against a very good England side," Rennie said.