Polota-Nau missed out on a place in the Wallabies #RWC squad but is expected to be granted a 90th cap against Samoa. Photo: EPA/Richard Wainwright

MELBOURNE – Veteran Australia hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will bow out of international rugby in front of home fans in Sydney on Saturday when the Wallabies play their final World Cup warmup against Samoa.

The 34-year-old missed out on a place in Michael Cheika's World Cup squad but is expected to be granted a 90th cap and run off the bench against the Pacific islanders.

“It's a privilege, really, to get another opportunity to wear the gold jersey,” Polota-Nau said from the Wallabies' training camp in New Caledonia.

“Most likely for the last time but in saying that, it's been a hell of a journey from my end, I've been very fortunate to wear the gold jersey every single time.”

Polota-Nau's announcement follows long-serving prop Sekope Kepu's confirmation on Monday that he will bow out of internationals after the World Cup.

It's a privilege, really, to get another opportunity to wear the gold jersey, Tatafu Polota-Nau said this week. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Like 105-cap Kepu, Polota-Nau has seen off several generations of Wallabies front-rowers and played a role in their 2011 and 2015 World Cup campaigns.

After starting last year as the incumbent number two, however, he slipped down the pecking order as Cheika opted to try Tolu Latu and Folau Fainga'a during the season-ending tour of Europe.

Polota-Nau has been packing down in the Wallabies scrum since 2005 but has been the stand-in man for much of his career, starting only 39 of his 89 tests while former skipper Stephen Moore racked up 129 international caps.

He had a difficult, injury-interrupted season with Leicester in the English Premiership before returning to the New South Wales Waratahs, his old Super Rugby club, for a short stint in March.

He may yet have another chance to shine for the Wallabies, being on injury standby for the World Cup behind squad players Latu, Fainga'a and young Melbourne Rebel Jordan Uelese.

“They are great - it's possibly the best combination you will get for preparation for a World Cup,” said Polota-Nau, a powerful scrummager whose fearless approach to the game saw him repeatedly battle concussion through the middle of his career.

“Unfortunately my skill-set isn't as good as the rest of them but to be honest I couldn't be at a happier place and I have every confidence that they will do the job over in Japan.”

Reuters