Wallabies team announced – Cooper back, Beale out of XV
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Quade Cooper has been recalled to the Wallabies side but fellow star Kurtley Beale hasn’t been named in the starting team for Australia’s do-or-die Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday night.
Cooper was left out of Robbie Deans’ squad entirely for the opening to the Rugby Championship in Sydney last week, but has been promoted to starting five-eighth, with Berrick Barnes shifting to inside centre.
The Wallabies are yet to confirm a reserves bench, but fullback Beale has been left out of the run-on 15 after having a shocker last Saturday night at ANZ Stadium.
It’s expected Beale will be included on the bench, however reliable NSW outside back Adam Ashley-Cooper will take his place at fullback.
Drew Mitchell will make his long-awaited return from injury this week, named to take Ashley-Cooper’s place on the wing after last week failing to get off the bench.
Anthony Faingaa is the other omission from the run-on side after starting at No.12 last week, – with Barnes to take his place and operate more as a second ballplayer and kicking option rather than a defensive stopper.
Will Genia will skipper the side in place of the injured David Pocock and as expected, Waratahs-bound openside flanker Michael Hooper will replace Pocock at No.7.
Brumbies prop Ben Alexander will start in place of the injured Sekope Kepu in the front row, despite not even being in the 22 last week.
Cooper, 24, believes he has a shot at redemption, after a disastrous World Cup campaign finished with defeat and serious injury at the hands of New Zealand in Auckland last October.
Australia haven’t beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park since 1986. A squad of 25 Wallabies will make the trip to New Zealand, with the run on reserves to be announced once the team arrives in Auckland tonight.
Wallabies team to play the All Blacks at Eden Park, Saturday 5:35pm:
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, Berrick Barnes, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Will Genia (capt), Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis, Nathan Sharpe, Sitaleki Timani, Ben Alexander,
Tatafu Polota Nau Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.
Reserves: TBA.© AAP 2013
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