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Thursday Aug 6, 2015

Hooper and Pocock to start for Wallabies in championship decider vs New Zealand

Hooper and Pocock to start for Wallabies in championship decider vs New Zealand

Australia will field a changed line up when they face the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship decider on Saturday night. For the first time in their Test careers, Michael Hooper and David Pocock have been named in the starting line-up together.

Pocock will wear the number eight jersey, while Hooper will be at openside flanker.

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika said: “Australian Rugby is very fortunate to have some quality flankers competing for the number seven jumper. Both players have been in outstanding form for club and country this season and have shown their class in sharing the spot in the first two matches.
“They now have an opportunity to start a Test together which they are very excited about.”

Matt Giteau returns from injury for his first start against New Zealand since 2011. The 93-Test veteran will join Bernard Foley and Tevita Kuridrani in the Wallabies midfield.
Drew Mitchell will get his first opportunity in the Wallabies starting XV this international season, joining Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau in the Wallabies back three.
Australia and New Zealand both sit on nine competition points on The Rugby Championship table, with the match this Saturday deciding the victor of the tournament for 2015.
Saturday 8 August 2015, Sydney, KO: 20:05 (local time) 10:05 GMT, 11:05 BST

Wallabies XV: 1. Scott Sio (Brumbies – 7 Tests) 2. Stephen Moore, C (Brumbies – 94 Tests) 3. Sekope Kepu (Waratahs – 54 Tests) 4. Dean Mumm (Waratahs – 34 Tests) 5. James Horwill (Reds – 59 Tests) 6. Scott Fardy (Brumbies – 21 Tests) 7. Michael Hooper, VC (Waratahs – 43 Tests) 8. David Pocock (Brumbies – 48 Tests) 9. Nick Phipps (Waratahs – 30 Tests) 10. Bernard Foley (Waratahs – 19 Tests) 11. Drew Mitchell (Toulon – 64 Tests) 12. Matt Giteau (Toulon – 93 Tests) 13. Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies – 22 Tests) 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, VC (Waratahs – 106 Tests) 15. Israel Folau (Waratahs – 31 Tests)
16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs – 51 Tests) 17. James Slipper (Reds – 65 Tests) 18. Greg Holmes (Reds – 15 Tests) 19. Will Skelton (Waratahs – 10 Tests) 20. Ben McCalman (Force – 39 Tests) 21. Nic White (Brumbies – 20 Tests) 22. Matt Toomua (Brumbies – 23 Tests) 23. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs- 50 Tests)


  • rwc2015
    12:54 PM 08/08/2015

    Hooper and Pocock will provide some strength and structure to the team.

  • drg
    11:30 AM 08/08/2015

    For the record, it wasn't me...

  • drg
    2:32 AM 08/08/2015

    Oh wow, somebody is having a bit of fun with my name... ok good work.. Just to clarify I am not an enforcer at my club, I rarely get into any scraps, the way the game is going these days it's not worth anyones while to be giving up your Saturday only to receive a red and sit around feeling like a dummy... Two teachers present? What about Mr J Hook, I hear he's making a comeback too... I'm not a teacher, don't have the skills for that, so no idea where I'd get a couple teachers to back me up when I 'throw down'... Dan might help me out?

  • benny
    11:19 AM 07/08/2015

    I'm sure he used to look more in proportion but then his face filled out and his eyes stayed in the middle. DrG please don't teach me a lesson, I was merely explaining why his eyes are so close together, not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • 3:13 AM 07/08/2015

    I agree and don't agree. Pocock is the best player, one of the best on the planet and thus will be less affected by a switch, but by he is also possibly the best 7 on the planet and I dint know why you'd take him away from that. I think they like fardy better than the other options I guess. SBW is going to eat giteau alive.

  • finedisregard
    8:11 PM 06/08/2015

    Have you ever in your life seen someone that has eyes so closely placed together? You could blindfold the guy with a band-aid!

  • eddie-g
    6:00 PM 06/08/2015

    I'm not an Aussie - and I sure as heck wouldn't expect many to show up what with the Ashes situation today - but I'd venture an answer on this. I suspect Cheika is interested to play both Hooper and Pocock, or certainly see how it goes playing them both. Hooper however is less experienced, so you're better off keeping him in the position with which he's most familiar. Pocock, to my mind, is so good you could play him anywhere in the back-row and he'd be outstanding. The Aussies could shift Pocock to the blind and play a specialist 8 - Palu, McCalman, Higginbotham all bring something - and come the world cup I imagine we'll see what Cheika's plan is. But in short, Pocock is their best loosie and could play anywhere in the back-row. A bit like Schalk Burger, with his experience and all-round skills, he's the moveable part in trying to form the ideal combination. He'll play openside if Hooper doesn't play, but he'll play one of the other positions if Hooper is picked, but you'll lose nothing whatever position you play him.

  • welshosprey
    1:36 PM 06/08/2015

    Hooper's face though, he's missing a chromosome for sure.


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Hooper and Pocock to start for Wallabies in championship decider vs New Zealand | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos