Eight Aussies to start for World XV

Date published: August 13 2015

World XV head coach Robbie Deans has named eight Australians in his starting line-up for Saturday's clash with Japan in Tokyo.

Deans has picked six Australians in the back-line with James O'Connor starting at full-back alongside Nick Cummins and Taqele Naiyaravoro who are on the wings.

Ben Tapuai and Christian Lealiifano form the midfield combination while Berrick Barnes and All Black scrum-half Andy Ellis are the half-back pairing.

The World XV will be captained by former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha who leads an experienced side which also contains fellow veterans like All Blacks trio Ali Williams, who packs down with Botha in the second row, and front rowers Carl Hayman and Andrew Hore.

The other two Wallabies in the run-on side are Benn Robinson (prop) and Liam Gill (openside flanker). Gill is joined in the back row by former Springbok Pierre Spies (number eight) and ex-All Black Adam Thomson (blindside flanker).

The bench has includes seven Australians, namely Tolu Latu (hooker), Ben Alexander (prop), Luke Jones (lock), Sean McMahon, Luke Burgess (scrum-half) and utility backs Mike Harris Dom Shipperley. South African prop Petrus du Plessis is also amongst the replacements.

Deans believes some of his players can still enhance their chances of going to the World Cup if they deliver impressive performances.

"We've got a limited amount of time to prepare against a side who have been together for a long time but these are high quality players who have an opportunity to enhance their reputations," he told AAP.

"There are players who have won World Cups at the end of their careers and players pushing for places in very competitive national squads with the clock ticking.

"For both groups, there is something at stake.

"Japan have a settled side and will bring a lot of energy to the match before they head to the World Cup.

"It should be a great game and we want to give them a really thorough test."

World XV: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Bakkies Botha (c), 4 Ali Williams, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Dom Shipperley.

Date: Saturday, 15 August
Venue: Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo
Kick-off: 18:00 local (09:00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Taizo Hirabayashi (Japan), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Television match official: Takashi Harada (Japan)