Rugby Championship 2014: Australia team to play South Africa

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Kurtley Beale has been dropped from the Australian starting line-up as one of four changes to Ewen McKenzie’s team to play South Africa this weekend.

The Wallabies were destroyed by New Zealand last time out, and McKenzie has responded by dropping half-backs Beale and Nic White. Nathan Charles misses out with injury, while Pat McCabe is absent after the sad news last week that he had been forced to call time on his rugby career.

The Waratahs duo of Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley assume the half-back partnership, while the Brumbies’ Tevita Kuridrani comes into the centres with Adam Ashley-Cooper shifting to the wing to fill the vacancy left by McCabe. James Hanson replaces Charles at hooker.

On the bench McKenzie has opted for just two backs – the dropped duo of White and Beale. James Horwill joins them in place of Will Skelton, while there is also room for Saia Fainga’a and Matt Hodgson.

Australia team to play South Africa:

15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 James Horwill, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Matt Hodgson, 22 Nic White, 23 Kurtley Beale.