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Wallabies announce team for Bledisloe: Pocock and Hooper to start

Just make sure David Pocock is on the field. That's pretty straightforward, no? (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
6th August, 2015
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The Wallabies have marked a return to the days of playing two openside flankers in the same run-on side, with Australia naming Michael Hooper and David Pocock to start against the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe Cup match of 2015.

Hooper and Pocock have both been in great form in Super Rugby, and played very strong games in their starting roles against South Africa and Argentina.

This has led Michael Cheika to name Pocock at number 8 for Bledisloe 1 in Sydney, with Hooper to play openside flanker.

» The Roar’s Bledisloe Cup coverage
» 2016 Bledisloe Cup draw
» Past Bledisloe Cup scores
» 2016 Bledisloe Cup lineups

Cheika has opted for a side with plenty of experience in the game that will decide the 2015 Rugby Championship, naming Drew Mitchell on the wing and Matt Giteau at inside centre, alongside Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps in the halves.

Scott Sio and Sekope Kepu will start in the front row ahead of Reds pair Greg Holmes and James Slipper, who have been relegated to the bench.

Adam Ashley-Cooper, Israel Folau and Tevita Kuridrani all retain their spots.

The second row also has a different look about it, with Dean Mumm to partner James Horwill. Will Skelton will come from the bench.

Cheika said picking both Pocock and Hooper in the same squad was a reward for form.

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“Both players have been in outstanding form for club and country this season and have shown their class in sharing the spot in the first two matches.

“They now have an opportunity to start a Test together which they are very excited about.”

Cheika said prop Scott Sio had earned his run-on debut for Australia.

“We have been impressed with Scott since joining the Wallabies group and he has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position,” said Cheika.

Wallabies team to play the All Blacks in Bledisloe 1
1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore (c)
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Dean Mumm
5. James Horwill
6. Scott Fardy
7. Michael Hooper (vc)
8. David Pocock
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Drew Mitchell
12. Matt Giteau
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (vc)
15. Israel Folau

Reserves
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. James Slipper
18. Greg Holmes
19. Will Skelton
20. Ben McCalman
21. Nic White
22. Matt Toomua
23. Kurtley Beale

What do you think Roarers? Will this team get it done against the All Blacks?