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  • Mitchell (2),
    Conversions: Giteau (2),
14 - 19

New Zealand

  • McCaw, Sivivatu,
    Penalty goals: Carter (3),
  • International Match
  • 1st Nov 2008
  • KO 08:30
  • Att: 20,000

Australia v NZ: Teams

At Hong Kong Stadium, Saturday November 1, live on Sky Sports Xtra from 8.30am

Last updated: 30th October 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Australia v NZ: Teams

Burgess: Starting at scrum-half for the Wallabies

I said after our last meeting that we'd be happy to play the All Blacks in a car park to have another game with them, and I stand by that

Australia coach Robbie Deans.
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Australia v New Zealand
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Australia coach Robbie Deans has made five changes and picked a physical midfield for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand.

Captain Stirling Mortlock and Ryan Cross will form the centre pairing to go up against Dan Carter, who has been switched from 10 to 12.

The Kangaroos will be looking to level the series at 2-2 as for the first time in the 105-year rivalry the two teams will go head-to-head at a neutral venue.

The Hong Kong Stadium is expected to be at full capacity for the clash, one that Deans is eagerly looking forward to ahead of the Autumn tours.

Historic occasion

"Saturday is an historic occasion, and one that the players are excited about, and proud to be a part of," he said.

"I said after our last meeting that we'd be happy to play the All Blacks in a car park to have another game with them, and I stand by that.

"Each game offers us the opportunity to test ourselves and raise our standards, providing a great barometer of the progress that we've made as a team.

"While we'd obviously have liked the Bledisloe Cup series to have still been alive, the chance to gain a Test win against New Zealand remains and that is an opportunity to be cherished."

Deans has resisted the temptation to pick the fit-again Berrick Barnes, who hasn't played since being forced from the field during Australia's historic win over South Africa at Durban in August.

However there are still some fresh faces in the team, including scrum-half Luke Burgess taking over from Sam Cordingley behind the pack.

Winger Drew Mitchell and young number eight Richard Brown are included to replace the injured pair of Lote Tuqiri and Wycliff Palu respectively.

Flanker Dean Mumm and second-rower Mark Chisholm also come into the pack at the expense of Hugh McMeniman and James Horwill.

Western Force flanker David Pocock, 20, could make his international debut after being named amongst a list of replacements that also includes Waratahs skipper Phil Waugh.

Muliaina missing

New Zealand have been forced to make a change to their original team after Mils Muliaina decided to stay in New Zealand with his wife and new baby.

The full-back, a 65-Test veteran, had been expected to arrive in Hong Kong from Auckland on Thursday but will now remain at home after becoming a father for the first time.

Isaia Toeava takes over in the number 15 jersey while uncapped Wellington full-back Cory Jane comes on to the reserves bench.

Prop Greg Somerville has also been named as a substitute after being called up as emergency cover for John Afoa.

The All Blacks are already certain of retaining the Bledisloe Cup no matter what the result at the weekend, giving coach Graham Henry the chance to experiment.

He has decided to move Carter, who has expressed his surprise at starting in the centres, from his usual position to give Stephen Donald a chance to impress at number 10.

Hosea Gear, the younger brother of former international Rico, has been handed a debut on the opposite wing to Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Stirling Mortlock, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Richard Brown, 7 George Smith, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Phil Waugh, 19 David Pocock, 20 Sam Cordingley, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Lachie Turner.

New Zealand: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Hosea Gear, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Greg Somerville, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Ma'a Nonu, 22 Cory Jane.

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