Hooper and Pocock to start for Qantas Wallabies against New Zealand in Rugby Championship decider

by Staff Writer

Qantas Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika has announced a revamped line-up for The Rugby Championship decider and Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

For the first time in their Test careers, Michael Hooper and David Pocock have been named in the starting line-up together, with Hooper returning to the run-on side at openside flanker and Pocock in the number eight jersey.

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Cheika said: “Australian Rugby is very fortunate to have some quality flankers competing for the number seven jumper.

“Both players have been in outstanding form for club and country this season and have shown their class in sharing the spot in the first two matches.

“They now have an opportunity to start a Test together which they are very excited about."

In another key milestone for the Qantas Wallabies, Scott Sio will make his run-on debut at loosehead prop after a pair of impressive cameos from the reserves bench in Brisbane and Mendoza, and a strong training camp.

“We have been impressed with Scott since joining the Wallabies group and he has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position," said Cheika.

Matt Giteau returns from injury for his first start against New Zealand since 2011. The 93-Test veteran will join Bernard Foley and Tevita Kuridrani in the Wallabies midfield.

Dean Mumm’s rise since returning from European Rugby continues, with the mobile lock moving in to the starting side to replace Will Skelton, who has been moved to the reserves bench for the first time this season.

Drew Mitchell will get his first opportunity in the Wallabies starting XV this international season, joining Adam Ashley-Cooper and Israel Folau in the Wallabies back three.

Australia and New Zealand both sit on nine competition points on The Rugby Championship table, with the match at ANZ Stadium this Saturday deciding the victor of the tournament for 2015.

Tickets for The Rugby Championship decider and opening Bledisloe Cup clash on Saturday, August 8, start from just $45 and are available at ticketek.com.au.

Final Round of The Rugby Championship: Qantas Wallabies team to play New Zealand at ANZ Stadium, Saturday 8 August 2015, 8:05pm (local time)

1. Scott Sio (Brumbies - 7 Tests)

2. Stephen Moore, C (Brumbies - 94 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (Waratahs - 54 Tests)

4. Dean Mumm (Waratahs - 34 Tests)

5. James Horwill (Reds - 59 Tests)

6. Scott Fardy (Brumbies - 22 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper, VC (Waratahs - 43 Tests)

8. David Pocock (Brumbies - 48 Tests)

9. Nick Phipps (Waratahs - 30 Tests)

10. Bernard Foley (Waratahs - 19 Tests)

11. Drew Mitchell (Toulon - 64 Tests)

12. Matt Giteau (Toulon - 93 Tests)

13. Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies - 22 Tests)

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, VC (Waratahs - 106 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (Waratahs - 31 Tests)


16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs - 51 Tests)

17. James Slipper (Reds - 65 Tests)

18. Greg Holmes (Reds - 15 Tests)

19. Will Skelton (Waratahs - 10 Tests)

20. Ben McCalman (Force - 39 Tests)

21. Nic White (Brumbies - 20 Tests)

22. Matt Toomua (Brumbies - 23 Tests)

23. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs- 50 Tests)

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