Karmichael Hunt has the "inside running" to take the Australia full-back spot in the absence of Israel Folau, says coach Michael Cheika.

Hunt has been named at 15 for the Wallabies clash against the Barbarians – captained by Quade Cooper – on Saturday, with Folau making his final outing for his country this year on the wing.

The 28-year-old will take a break from international rugby rather than participate in the November internationals against Japan, Wales, England and Scotland.

Hunt played at centre in each of his three previous appearances, but Cheika backed him to make the full-back spot his own.

Asked about the Queensland Reds back's chances of starting in the number 15 jersey against Japan, Cheika said: "He's got the inside running, hasn't he?

"This is a chance for him and he knows the sort of role he needs to play there.

"It will be a little bit different to Israel's role and there will be some different things he will do but all in all I think from June he merits the opportunity to have a first crack at it, even though it may not be in the position that he played in June."

Billy Meakes will begin the game at inside centre, with Duncan Paia'aua at fly-half and Nick Phipps captaining the new-look Wallabies from scrum-half in the absence of Michael Hooper - voted Wallaby Player of the Year on Thursday.


Australia: Karmichael Hunt, Henry Speight, Samu Kerevi, Billy Meakes, Israel Folau, Duncan Paia'aua, Nick Phipps; Tom Robertson, Jordan Uelese, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Lukhan Tui, Ned Hanigan, Jack Dempsey, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements: Stephen Moore, Tetera Faulkner, Jermaine Ainsley, Kane Douglas, Ben McCalman, Joe Powell, Curtis Rona, Izaia Perese.