Wallabies to hold pre-Bledisloe trial game

The Wallabies will face an Australian Super Rugby invitational side in a trial game next Friday as they think outside the square to snap New Zealand's Bledisloe Cup superiority.

And Michael Cheika is also thinking outside the box in terms of selections for the August 18 series opener, with fullback Israel Folau in contention to fill the void at outside centre.

The Wallabies will play a side featuring the best of the rest not involved in club or Super Rugby finals at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval.

It is hoped the trial will put them on the front foot for game one after the All Blacks shot out of the gates in the corresponding contest last year.

Australia's 16-year Bledisloe Cup drought was extended thanks to last year's 2-1 series loss built on the All Blacks' record 40-point first half haul in Sydney's opening game.

Cheika isn't sure if their lack of game time before that match contributed to their downfall, but is happy to shake it up after thinking about initiating a trial game last year.

"We need the footy," he said on Thursday.

"It's not just about the contact, because you can get all that in training.

"But just the little things. The pressure in front of a crowd, the referee telling you what to do, the dressing room build-up, all those things. The mental side of footy."

No NSW Waratahs will feature in the clash given their impending Super Rugby semi-final with South Africa's Lions this Saturday.

That, combined with injuries to outside centres Tevita Kuridrani and Samu Kerevi, means Cheika will also get a chance to assess his options.

The coach said both Reece Hodge and Curtis Rona would be looked at in the No.13 role for the Bledisloe Cup match, while also throwing fullback Folau into the mix.

Waratahs pair Rona and Folau are not available for the trial game Cheika confirmed they would come into calculations to play No.13 in the first Test.

"We need to create a bit of depth there," Cheika said.

"He's (Folau) played there before ... it's no secret I prefer him at 15 (fullback), but he's played there."

Australian women's sevens coach John Manenti will mentor the invitational squad that will not feature either of exiled Reds Karmichael Hunt or Quade Cooper given their club Souths are still alive in the Brisbane club competition.

The clash will be free to the public, who are encouraged to donate a gold coin in support of grassroots rugby.

Both squads will be named next week.