Australia make wholesale changes for Twickenham crunch match

By | October 1, 2015


LONDON – The Wallabies have made 14 changes to the side that destroyed Uruguay on Sunday for their crunch Pool A match against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Reverting back to the same first XV that played Fiji in their opening Cup clash, Australia Coach Michael Cheika has made it reasonably clear who he sees as his strongest team.

Bernard Foley returns to the team in place of Quade Cooper who drops out of the team altogether after a poor performance against Uruguay on Sunday while Michael Hooper and David Pocock form the 7, 8 combination that was so successful against New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup earlier this year. Veteran centre Matt Giteau returns to 12 while Folau slots back in at the back.

Suffering a minor injury crisis of their own, Australia lose the services of Will Skelton and Wycliff Palu who both returned back to Australia after suffering tournament-ending injuries.

While Cheika has named an extended bench, the first XV seems pretty set in stone with fringe players like Rob Horne, Kane Douglas and Scott Sio cementing their place in the starting team.

Australia team to play England

1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Kane Douglas
5. Rob Simmons
6. Scott Fardy
7. Michael Hooper
8. David Pocock
9. Will Genia
10. Bernard Foley
11. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Matt Giteau
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Rob Horne
15. Israel Folau

Extended reserves

Tatafu Polota-Nau, Toby Smith, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Dean Mumm, Sam Carter, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale (two to be omitted)