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Thursday Aug 6, 2015

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)
Reserves:
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)

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