Massive changes to Wallabies ahead of Bledisloe decider

ALEX HEINKE reports.

Queenslander Quade Cooper will be thrown into the ultimate pressure cooker, Eden Park, to lead the Wallabies to Bledisloe Cup victory for the first time since 2002.

As one of many shock line-up changes from last week’s victory in Sydney, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is keeping oppositions guessing. He has steered clear of his successful breakdown tactics, playing two specialist openside flankers in Michael Hooper and David Pocock.


Traditional no.8 Wycliff Palu comes straight into the starting line with Pocock warming the bench.

Incoming Queensland Red, Kane Douglas, comes on to a 6-2 bench to play his first Test since departing for Ireland last year.

In the backs, Matt Toomua will start at No. 12 after steering the team to victory off the bench demoting veteran Matt Giteau.

Cooper will start in the No. 10 jersey for Australia despite being left out of the 23-man squad that defeated New Zealand 27-19 last weekend in Sydney.


15. Israel Folau 14. Henry Speight 13. Tevita Kuridrani 12. Matt Toomua 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper 10. Quade Cooper 9. Nic White 8. Wycliff Palu 7. Michael Hooper 6. Scott Fardy 5. Will Skelton 4. James Horwill 3. Sekope Kepu 2. Stephen Moore 1. Scott Sio.

Reserves: Tatafu Polot Nau, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Kane Douglas, Dean Mumm, David Pocock, Matt Giteau, Kurtley Beale