Australia announce full-strength team to play Japan

Zac Zavos Editor

By Zac Zavos, Zac Zavos is a Roar Editor

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    Australia have announced a full-strength line-up to play Japan in the opening Pool B match in Lyon on Saturday.

    Veteran full back Chris Latham will make his first appearance in the Wallabies starting XV this year, while his Queensland team-mate Berrick Barnes has won a place on the reserves bench.

    Australia team

    1 Matt Dunning
    2 Stephen Moore*
    3 Al Baxter
    4 Nathan Sharpe
    5 Dan Vickerman
    6 Rocky Elsom*
    7 George Smith (vc)
    8 Wycliff Palu*
    9 George Gregan (vc)
    10 Stephen Larkham
    11 Lote Tuqiri
    12 Matt Giteau
    13 Stirling Mortlock (c)
    14 Adam Ashley-Cooper*
    15 Chris Latham

    Replacements

    16 Adam Freier*
    17 Guy Shepherdson*
    18 Hugh McMeniman*
    19 Stephen Hoiles*
    20 Berrick Barnes #
    21 Drew Mitchell*
    22 Mark Gerrard*

    # Uncapped
    * RWC debut

    Match notes

    • Australia has won all three of its previous Tests against Japan.
    • The two Nations have not met since the 1987 Rugby World Cup (Aus won 42-23 in a pool match at Concord Oval, Sydney).
    • Australia’s highest score in a Test against Japan is 50 (1975, won 50-25, Ballymore).
    • The Wallabies starting XV has a collective total of 799 Test caps.

    Is this wise – to be playing our key players in a non-key match?

    I founded The Roar in 2007 and continue to manage it alongside our growing team.

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • September 6th 2007 @ 9:16am
      Greg said | September 6th 2007 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      What has Scott Staniforth got to do to get a run? I would prefer him to Mark Gerrard any day of the week, Gerrard has looked far from convincing in the starts he has had for the Wallabies. On the other hand, Staniforth always looks dangerous with the ball and is guaranteed a few good line breaks a game.

      Best possible result would be to drop Tuqiri all together put Mitchell on the other wing (faster, better kicking game) and have Staniforth come on to the bench as a utility reserve (wing/centres).

    • September 6th 2007 @ 3:21pm
      naza said | September 6th 2007 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

      Australia by 50.

      As to the question posted – yes, our key players need to shed some rust. Its a week between matches, so plenty of recovery time. If we go in cold against Wales, that’d be inviting an ambush.

    • Columnist

      September 6th 2007 @ 7:01pm
      Spiro Zavos said | September 6th 2007 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

      I think the points outcome, except for an easy Wallaby win, is not the main issue. The Wallabies have traditionally started RWC tournaments slowly and built up for the finals. The 1991 Alan Jones pontificated that the team couldn’t win on the evidence of oits early pool matches performances. In 1999 Mark Ella made the same criticism.
      What I’ll be looking for is evidence that the scrum has improved, something that I’m sceptical about. And also the Wallabies need some of the forwards, aside from George Smith, to run hard with the ball in hand and commit with some intensity to the rucks and mauls.

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