Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has recalled Quade Cooper to the starting team for Australia for their Bledisloe Cup decider at Eden Park this Saturday.
Cheika has made six changes to the Wallabies’ team that beat the All Blacks in Sydney last weekend, with Cooper in place of Bernard Foley sure to turn more than a few heads.
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Another interesting move is replacing David Pocock with the bigger Wycliff Palu at number 8.
Will Skelton gets another chance to start in the four jersey after a good performance last week off the bench, while Nic White and Matt Toomua earn starting berths due to their impressive showings against New Zealand last weekend off the bench.
Henry Speight will also start in this match, having served his suspension from earlier in the Super Rugby season.
In an interesting development, Kane Douglas has been recalled to the Wallabies 23 and will likely earn his 15th Test appearance from the bench.
Pocock and Matt Giteau, two of the Wallabies’ better performers last week, will both sit on the bench this week, having likely done enough to show Michael Cheika what they can do against the All Blacks. If he sees action, Pocock will earn his 50th Test cap.
Michael Cheika said that all the players worked hard at training and deserved their spots.
“Wycliff, Henry and Kane have all worked hard for this opportunity and have brought a lot of energy to the group this week.”
“David [Pocock] has had to overcome some hurdles with regards to injury to reach this milestone but the way in which he’s got there through perseverance and a lot of hard work and patience is a great measure of his character.
“He has been one of our best players this season, and the respect he commands from his teammates and peers is a testament to the way he approaches the game.
“He knows that he will play a pivotal part in closing the match on Saturday night, and I expect he will put in a performance that all of Australia will be proud of.”
Wallabies team for Bledisloe Cup Game 2
1. Scott Sio
2. Stephen Moore (C)
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Will Skelton
5. James Horwill
6. Scott Fardy
7. Michael Hooper
8. Wycliff Palu
9. Nic White
10. Quade Cooper
11. Adam Ashley-Cooper
12. Matt Toomua
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Israel Folau
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau
17. James Slipper
18. Greg Holmes
19. Dean Mumm
20. Kane Douglas
21. David Pocock
22. Matt Giteau
23. Kurtley Beale
What do you think Roarers? How does this team stack up against the All Blacks?