Australia announce full-strength team to play Japan

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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


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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