Wallabies move Pocock for decider
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wallaby coach Michael Cheika has made some interesting changes to his team for the three-Test series decider against Ireland on Saturday.
Cheika brought in flank Lukhan Tui and named Nick Phipps as scrumhalf – the latter to replace Will Genia, who broke his arm in last week’s loss.
David Pocock moves to No.8 to accommodate Tui at blindside flank, where Cheika is looking for more physicality from his forwards pack, who were dominated in Melbourne.
Waratahs forward Ned Hanigan, back from a knee injury, has been named on a reserves bench featuring a six-two forwards-backs split.
Until last week, Ireland’s last win in Australia was in 1979, when they triumphed in Brisbane and Sydney to sweep the series.
Saturday’s Test will be Tui’s first start in Wallaby gold, having appeared off the bench in his previous six Internationals.
Phipps brings plenty of Test experience and will lean on his Waratahs backline combination with Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau.
Fellow scrumhalf Joe Powell will aim to add to his three Test caps after being named on a six-two bench along with 2017 Wallabies Rookie of the Year, Ned Hanigan.
The series is locked at one-all, following Ireland’s five-point win over Australia in Melbourne last Saturday.
Australia and Ireland last faced off in Sydney back in 1994, when the Wallabies won 32-18 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
This is the first-ever three-Test Series between the two nations – despite having played each other in 34 Tests over 90 years.
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ned Hanigan, 21 Pete Samu, 22 Joe Powell, 23 Reece Hodge.
Date: Saturday, June 23
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 20.05 (11.05 UK time, 10.05 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa),
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)