The Wallabies have made a sole change to the team that was comprehensively beaten last weekend, with Brumbies flanker Scott Fardy coming into the team for his first start in place of the injured Hugh McMeniman.
Head coach Ewen McKenzie has backed his team to turn things around after last weekend’s disappointing defeat. “You can’t fudge experience and I know this group learned a great deal from last week and will be much better for the experience on Saturday night,” said McKenzie.
“We made a decision to reward players that were in-form and who we believed were capable of executing what we are trying to achieve as a group. That doesn’t change overnight or following one losing result. It’s always important to be conscious of finding a balance between selecting experience against youth but the only way to develop that experience is by providing opportunities to players and hoping they take them.
“Right now, I’m more concerned with how each individual responds to the defeat. We need to fix aspects of our performance but we will get better the more time we spend together. However, in saying that, you only get a finite number of chances at Test level so it’s important that you don’t let the moment pass. That’s been made very clear this week as has the expectation of the level of improvement we need from each player within the squad.”
Australia team to play New Zealand, Sat 24th August KO 19.35 (local time)
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 Scott Fardy, 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 Kane Douglas, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.