Hooper and Pocock start for Wallabies

Date published: August 6 2015

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Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has announced a revamped line-up for the Rugby Championship decider and Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

For the first time in their Test careers, Michael Hooper and David Pocock have been named in the starting line-up together, with Hooper returning to the run-on side at openside flanker and Pocock in the number eight jersey. 

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has announced a revamped line-up for The Rugby Championship decider and Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

For the first time in their Test careers, Michael Hooper and David Pocock have been named in the starting line-up together, with Hooper returning to the run-on side at openside flanker and Pocock in the number eight jersey.

"Australian Rugby is very fortunate to have some quality flankers competing for the number seven jumper," said Cheika.

"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." 

In another key milestone for the Wallabies, Scott Sio will make his first start at loosehead prop after a pair of impressive cameos from the reserves bench in Brisbane and Mendoza, and a strong training camp.

"We have been impressed with Scott since joining the Wallabies group and he has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position," said Cheika.

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.

Dean Mumm’s rise since returning from European Rugby continues, with the mobile lock moving in to the starting side to replace Will Skelton, who has been moved to the reserves bench for the first time this season 

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 at ANZ Stadium this Saturday deciding the victor of the tournament for 2015.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c) 1 Scott Sio,
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Kurtley Beale.

Date: Saturday, 8 August
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 20:05 local (07:05 ART, 10:05 GMT, 12:05 SAST, 22:05 NZST)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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