Australia announce full-strength team to play Japan

Zac Zavos Editor

By , 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?

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