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Thread: POCOCK NAMED IN STARTING SIDE FOR WALLABIES

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    POCOCK NAMED IN STARTING SIDE FOR WALLABIES

    Tuesday, 1 September 2009 3:57pm
    ARU

    Dave Pocock clears against ItalyEmirates Western Force openside flanker David Pocock and Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia and have been handed maiden Tri Nations starting roles, among the key changes to the Wallabies side named today for Saturday night’s Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series Test against South Africa in Brisbane.

    The pair are among five personnel alterations to the starting combination from last weekend’s match against the same opponent in Perth, with the others seeing Berrick Barnes return from injury in the place of Ryan Cross, Drew Mitchell slot in for Peter Hynes on the wing, while Tatafu Polota-Nau takes over from Stephen Moore in the front row.

    After being forced to miss the last Test due to the effects of a head knock suffered in the Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney two weeks ago, Barnes has proved his fitness and been reinstated.

    He returns at inside centre, with Adam Ashley-Cooper shifting out one backline slot from last week to take over from Cross at centre.

    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says Barnes’ established combination with Genia, whom he has played alongside regularly at the Reds, was a factor in the selectors’ thinking.

    “Will has shown us since he joined the squad at the start of the Tri Nations that he is up to this level, and we saw that again last Saturday night. Having Berrick, whom he knows so well and has such a great understanding with, playing along side him will also help.”

    The selection of Pocock, who Deans says has offered great value from the bench so far during the Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations, sees skipper George Smith move to No 8 to accommodate the 21-year-old in his run on Tri Nations debut.

    It is not a new combination: the Australian loose trio finished that way last weekend, after Pocock replaced No 8 Richard Brown eight minutes into the second half.

    “George is comfortable at the back of the scrum while Dave has shown, in the opportunities he’s had to date, that he is worthy of a crack from the start.”

    Likewise Polota-Nau has earned a starting spot after making an impact from the run on substitutes each time he has been called on, which includes the final 27 minutes of last weekend’s international.

    Moore moves to the bench alongside last weekend’s starting halfback, Luke Burgess, while Brown has been omitted from the line-up.

    No 8 Wycliff Palu returns on the bench, after getting through a solid hit-out for his Manly club last weekend, taking Brown’s place.

    Warringah and Emirates Western Force prop Pek Cowan, who also played club rugby last weekend, has similarly been promoted onto the bench, taking over from Al Baxter.

    Queensland Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper has been selected on the bench, subject to proving his fitness after spraining his knee at the end of the last Test match.

    Tighthead prop Ben Alexander and lock Mark Chisholm, who were added to the starting XV last weekend, have both been retained although Hynes has swapped roles with Mitchell, and will this week start from the bench.

    Although Australia can no longer win either the Tri Nations or the Mandela Trophy this year, Deans says the remainder of the competition, and in particular his charges’ last crack at the world’s top ranked team for the year, still offered a major opportunity.

    “It’s a Test match and against the world’s best team at one of the premier venues in world rugby. That’s not a prospect any of our blokes would take lightly,” Deans says.

    “Every time you put on your national jumper you want to – and expect to - do your best. That motivation doesn’t change, regardless of the circumstance.”

    Deans also pointed to the similarities to last year’s final Test between these two sides at Johannesburg, after Australia had already secured the Mandela Trophy by going two up in the series.

    South Africa comfortably won the third game, and gained such momentum from that performance, that it has lost just one of the 11 matches played since.

    The Wallabies team to play South Africa in the Bundaberg Rum Tri Nations Series and Mandela Trophy Test at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Saturday 5 September, 8.05pm kick off (AEST), is:

    15. James O’Connor (Emirates Western Force)

    14. Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs)

    13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies)

    12. Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds)

    11. Drew Mitchell (Emirates Western Force)

    10. Matt Giteau (Emirates Western Force)

    9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)

    8. George Smith (Brumbies, captain)

    7. David Pocock (Emirates Western Force)

    6. Rocky Elsom (Brumbies)

    5. Mark Chisholm (Brumbies)

    4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds)

    3. Ben Alexander (Brumbies)

    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs)

    1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)

    Run on reserves:

    16. Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

    17. Pek Cowan (Emirates Western Force)

    18. Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)

    19. Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)

    20. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)

    21. Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds)

    22. Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds)

    Australia v South Africa @ Brisbane – Historical Notes

    •The Springboks have appeared in Brisbane on nine previous occasions, for two wins (1956 & 1971) and seven losses – the last six of which have come in succession.
    •At the most recent meeting between the two teams in the city, Australia won by a record 49-0 scoreline, scoring six tries in the process. Matt Giteau, who also appeared at inside centre that night and scored two tries, George Smith, Rocky Elsom and Mark Chisholm (who came off the bench and also scored a try) are Australia’s only survivors from that occasion. Ten of the Springboks from that match night squad could potentially appear again, having been included in the current touring party.
    •Overall, the two countries have met on 70 occasions, with South Africa winning 43, Australia 26, as well as the one draw.
    •Suncorp Stadium is one of four Test venues that have been used in Brisbane. The others are Ballymore, the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and the Woollongabba Ground, which is better known as the city’s venue for cricket.
    •The first rugby union Test to be played at the old Lang Park, site of the current Suncorp Stadium, featured the Springboks in 1965 when Australia prevailed 12-8. The ground did not become a regular union venue until 31 years later when Tri-Nations matches were held at the ground due to its greater capacity than Ballymore.
    •Australia’s three losses at the venue have all been sustained against New Zealand.
    •Prior to South Africa’s readmission to international sport in 1992, Australia had won just seven of the 31 matches played.
    •The scoreboard stands at 19 all, along with a draw, for the period since then.
    •Last weekend’s 32-25 win in Perth was just South Africa’s fourth success (& its third in Perth) on Australian soil since 1992; and just its third from the 16 matches in this country through the Tri-Nations era, which kicked off in 1996.
    •South Africa has won 10 of its last 11 Tests since losing 15-27 at home to Australia in Durban last year. The only defeat sustained since was a 9-28 reverse against the British & Irish Lions in the ‘dead’ third rubber of that series, when the Boks fielded a much changed side from that which had won the two earlier Tests..

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    Last edited by travelling_gerry; 01-09-09 at 15:12.

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    I not surprised about Moore as the guy has a seriously broken nose and it must hurt like hell every time he sticks his head into a tackle or maul...

    Brown vaporised…. gone completely from starting to not in the 22 speak loudly... But he'll be back sometime in the future 2010 , perhaps? Holies must be close to a call up…


    And finally Burgess gets the bench...

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    Hoiles would need to be in the Squad first.
    More likely they will tinker with Mumm, Hodgson, Kimlin and Waugh, you know, players who are actually with the team.

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