Israel Folau, Henry Speight Rugby stars try doubles as Australia beat Fiji in Melbourne Test

Israel Folau and Henry Speight scored try doubles as Australia launched their international season with a 37-14 win over Fiji in Melbourne on Saturday.

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Australia's Israel Folau is congratulated by teammates after successful try during their rugby union Test match against Fiji, in Melbourne, on June 10, 2017 play

Australia's Israel Folau is congratulated by teammates after successful try during their rugby union Test match against Fiji, in Melbourne, on June 10, 2017

(AFP)
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Israel Folau and Henry Speight scored try doubles as Australia launched their international season with a 37-14 win over Fiji in Melbourne on Saturday.

Fullback Folau was outstanding in attack, running over 150 metres for the match, and Fijian-born winger Speight finished well as the Wallabies outscored Fiji five tries to two after leading 18-0 at half-time.

Fly-half Bernard Foley kicked three conversions and two penalty goals to finish with 12 points.

The Wallabies began well and dominated the first half, but the Fijians had more success in the second half with tries to Vereniki Goneva and Timoci Nagusa.

It was a tonic for the Wallabies to win their season opener by 23 points, with Test debutant Karmichael Hunt catching the eye at inside centre along with towering lock Adam Coleman.

Hunt, whose introduction to rugby in 2015 was blighted by a cocaine scandal stemming from his days in the Australian Football League, was making his Wallabies debut aged 30.

Hunt and Folau are the only players in Australian history who have been dual rugby internationals and played the AFL at senior level.

Australia's Henry Speight scores a try against Fiji during their rugby union Test match in Melbourne, on June 10, 2017 play

Australia's Henry Speight scores a try against Fiji during their rugby union Test match in Melbourne, on June 10, 2017

(AFP)

"It's very satisfying. Obviously, my journey hasn't been an easy one, self-inflicted, but I put my hand up from the start and I just wanted work my way into form and this year I've done that," Hunt said.

"For me to pull on the Wallabies jumper is a huge honour for my family and everyone else that has helped me get to this point, so I am very lucky."

Flanker Michael Hooper, who was named captain ahead of 117-Test hooker Stephen Moore, who started on the bench, said it was a good start to the year for the Wallabies.

"I am really happy with the guys, the intent was really strong and the work-rate was there," Hooper said.

"We probably left two or three tries out there, but the Fijians are pretty hard to deal with at times."

Fast start from Wallabies

It was Australia's 14th straight win over Fiji since a 3-3 draw in Melbourne in 1961. Their last defeat to the Pacific Islanders was way back in 1954.

The Wallabies hit the ground running and were 15-0 up in the first 11 minutes.

Foley aimed a high kick to the right wing for Folau, who out-jumped fullback Kini Murimurivalu to score the opening try in the fourth minute.

The Wallabies were in again when forwards Coleman and Scott Higginbotham exchanged passes and gave the opening for Speight to score out wide.

The Wallabies went a man down when Folau was yellow-carded for a high tackle but they added three more points through a Foley penalty goal while he was off the field.

Foley took off from his own quarter with an intercept off a Ben Volavola pass but was he run down, before he added a further penalty for an 18-0 lead at half-time.

Fiji-born centre Tevita Kuridrani had a try disallowed for the Wallabies when he put his foot into touch early in the second half.

But Foley put Folau through a gap on halfway and he burnt off the Fijian cover defence to score his second try and stretch the Wallabies' lead to 25-0.

Goneva scored Fiji's first try after he beat off Speight's diving tackle, before Moore came off the substitutes' bench to score a pushover try.

Winger Nagusa dived over for Fiji's second try with three minutes left. But the Wallabies kept the ball alive after the fulltime siren and were rewarded with Speight's second try after great passing from replacement Quade Cooper and Hunt.

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