Toomua starts for the Wallabies

Date published: August 15 2013


Brumbies fly-half Matt Toomua will wear the number ten jersey against the All Blacks in one of eight changes to the Wallabies side.

Brumbies fly-half Matt Toomua will wear the number ten jersey against the All Blacks in one of eight changes to the Wallabies side that lost to the British and Irish Lions.

Despite Ewen McKenzie bringing Quade Cooper back into the frame, the Reds playmaker is forced to contend with a place on the bench, with Toomua set to make his debut.

James O'Connor, who served at fly-half during the series against the Lions, moves out to the wing where he is joined in the back three by Jesse Mogg and Israel Folau.

Western Force flanker Hugh McMeniman slips into the number six jersey with Ben Mowen switching to the back of the scrum as a result. On the openside, Michael Hooper replaces George Smith.

Loosehead prop James Slipper and second rower Rob Simmons are the other men promoted to the starting line-up.

Scott Sio, Nic White, Scott Fardy and Tevita Kuridrani will make their Test bows should they come off the bench.

“When we picked the team we didn't spend one minute looking at how many Test caps a player had or the number of debutants,” McKenzie said of his team.

“It was picked on performance over a sustained period of time and on how we want to play the game.

“The fact that five guys haven't played a Test before isn't a concern. Everyone has to start from somewhere and we definitely haven't picked them on one game.

“Rather, they are starting their Test careers off the back of consistently strong performances at a provincial level.

“The reality is that whether it's in Super Rugby or the Test arena, all our guys have a lot of familiarity with who we are playing against. I see that as a positive as we aren't playing anyone we don't already know a lot about.”

Australia: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Hugh McMeniman, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Scott Fardy, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.

Date: Saturday, August 17
Kick-off: 20:05 local (11:05 BST, 10:35 GMT)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Lourens Van Der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)