RWC 2015

Wallabies name squad to face Flying Fijians

Australia has reunited loose forwards Michael Hooper and David Pocock for its opening Rugby World Cup match against Fiji in Cardiff on Thursday. Hooper and Pocock were openside flankers, but Pocock was started at No. 8 for the first time in his 50-cap career in Sydney, and they effectively dominated the breakdowns to help end […]

Navin Kumar

September 22, 2015 12:48 am

Australia has reunited loose forwards Michael Hooper and David Pocock for its opening Rugby World Cup match against Fiji in Cardiff on Thursday.

Hooper and Pocock were openside flankers, but Pocock was started at No. 8 for the first time in his 50-cap career in Sydney, and they effectively dominated the breakdowns to help end a four-year drought against the All Blacks.

Head Coach Michael Cheika:

It’s pretty hard not to pick one of them.  It sort of means you pick them both. I’m not trying to claim there is any brilliant rocket science behind it. You just have two very good players.

The way they’ve played throughout the Super Rugby season and in the rugby internationals, either together or separately, has forced the coach’s hand — and that’s exactly what you want from players.

The team to meet Fiji was different by only four players: The incoming locks Kane Douglas and Rob Simmons, who played in the final warmup match against the United States in Chicago on Sept. 5, scrumhalf Will Genia, and Rob Horne on the left wing instead of Drew Mitchell.

The XV boasts 720 caps, the Wallabies’ second most experienced lineup for a World Cup match after the 798 caps who started against Japan in 2007.

Inside center Matt Giteau will play his first Cup match in eight years, but it will be his third World Cup. Captain and hooker Stephen Moore and winger Adam Ashley-Cooper have also appeared in three tournament, but seven others will make their Cup debut.

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Australia:

  1. Israel Folau
  2. Adam Ashley-Cooper
  3. Tevita Kuridrani
  4. Matt Giteau
  5. Rob Horne
  6. Bernard Foley
  7. Will Genia
  8. David Pocock
  9. Michael Hooper
  10. Scott Fardy
  11. Rob Simmons
  12. Kane Douglas
  13. Sekope Kepu
  14. Stephen Moore (captain)
  15. Scott Sio

Reserves:

Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale.

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