Wallabies Change Three For All Blacks Test

Australia Head Coach Michael Cheika has made three changes to the Wallabies squad that triumphed over Argentina.  Matt Giteau, Wycliff Palu and the uncapped Toby Smith have come in to the 31-man squad announced today for next Saturday’s clash with New Zealand in Sydney (August 8).  Giteau returns after a one-match layoff with injury while Palu returns to the squad after being rested for the past month.  The return of the experienced duo is timely as the Australians prepare for what is effectively a 2015 Rugby Championship ‘Final’, as the men in gold sit locked at the top of the standings with the All Blacks on nine points ahead of the final match of the truncated series.
 
Melbourne Rebels prop Toby Smith is the other new face in the 31-man squad, earning his place after a consistent Super Rugby campaign. The 26-year-old enters the squad as the only non-capped player.  Cheika says:  ‘We have been able to look at a few different combinations during the first two rounds of The Rugby Championship and the squad is starting to take shape.  In additional to the 31 players, we’ll be bringing some injured and fringe players into camp to continue their rehabilitation and manage their return to play.  It’s important that they remain connected and contribute to the group.  Toby has had a solid season with the Rebels, and has been working really hard while the group has been away.  Our intention was always to rest Wycliff prior to this camp, and he has come back in great shape and really eager to play.’

The 31-man squad will assemble in Coogee on Sunday evening, as Sydney prepares to host a four-day festival of sport and entertainment from August 5, as part of the annual Bledisloe Cup Festival.  Tickets for The Rugby Championship decider at ANZ Stadium on Saturday, August 8, start from just $45 and are available at ticketek.com.au.
 
31-man Aussie Squad:
 
Adam Ashley-Cooper – VC (Waratahs)
Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)
Quade Cooper (Reds)
Scott Fardy (Brumbies)
Israel Folau (Waratahs)
Bernard Foley (Waratahs)
Matt Giteau (Toulon)
Greg Holmes (Reds)
Michael Hooper – VC (Waratahs)
James Horwill (Reds)
Sekope Kepu (Waratahs)
Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)
Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies)
Stephen Moore – C (Brumbies)
Drew Mitchell (Toulon)
Ben McCalman (Force)
Sean McMahon (Rebels)
Dean Mumm (Waratahs)
Wycliff Palu (Waratahs)
Nick Phipps (Waratahs)
David Pocock (Brumbies)
Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs)
Scott Sio (Brumbies)
Rob Simmons (Reds)
Will Skelton (Waratahs)
James Slipper (Reds)
Toby Smith* (Rebels)
Henry Speight (Brumbies)
Matt Toomua (Brumbies)
Joe Tomane (Brumbies)
Nic White (Brumbies)
 
*Uncapped
Photo credit: Matt King/Getty Images