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Qantas Wallabies named for second Bledisloe test

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By Qantas Wallabies Media Unit

Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia will captain Australia for the second time after the Qantas Wallabies team for the second Test of The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship  against the All Blacks was named today.

The elevation of Genia, and the inclusion of the promising Brumbies flanker Michael Hooper in the starting line-up, are both a consequence of the knee cartilage injury which has ruled out the previous Wallabies stand in skipper, David Pocock.

Genia, who led the Qantas Wallabies for the first time against the United States at last year’s Rugby World Cup, becomes Australia’s third skipper for the year, after the initial incumbent James Horwill was injured on the eve of the June Test window.

He will team for the first time this Test season with flyhalf Quade Cooper, who makes his long-awaited return following a serious knee injury at last year’s Rugby World Cup.

Cooper last featured for the Wallabies in the Bronze Final which was played at Saturday night’s Test venue: Auckland’s Eden Park.

The return of Cooper shifts Berrick Barnes out one place in the backline to inside centre. Barnes retains the goal-kicking duties after an impressive run of form which has seen him kick 19 of 23 attempts in Test matches this year, including five from five in the year’s first clash with the All Blacks.

Another backline change sees the versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper switch from wing to fullback. The experienced NSW Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell takes up the position vacated by his former house-mate, Ashley-Cooper, on the right wing.

Mitchell, who last appeared for Australia against Russia at the Rugby World Cup, was an un-used substitute on the bench last week.

The selectors have opted to hold off finalising the bench due to an injury concern and will finalise the make-up of the run on reserves once the side arrives in Auckland tonight. 25 players will travel in the Qantas Wallabies party which leaves Sydney this afternoon.

The two changes to the starting forward pack from last week’s opening Bledisloe Cup Test have both been forced by injury, with Brumbies front-ranker Ben Alexander slotting in at tighthead for Sekope Kepu, while Hooper runs from Pocock’s spot on the openside flank.

Hooper will oppose All Black skipper Richard McCaw for the first time as the Brumbies didn’t face the Crusaders during Fx Pro Super Rugby this year. It will also be the first time at Eden Park for last year’s Australian Under-20 Player of the Year, who will be figuring in his fourth Test after making his debut at Newcastle earlier in June.

This weekend’s assignment represents his first starting role in Tests.

After coming off the bench last weekend, Stephen Moore, who will be on the bench again, is poised to achieve a notable milestone in Auckland, where he will make his 72nd Test appearance if he is again required to enter the game as a substitute.

Moore’s next appearance would tie Jeremy Paul as the most capped hooker in the history of Australian Rugby. He made his 100th appearance in Fx Pro Super Rugby earlier in the year during the final qualifying round of that competition.

The Qantas Wallabies team to play New Zealand in the second Test of The Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday (kick-off: 7.35pm NZ time, 5.35pm AEST) is:

Starting XV
15. Adam Ashley-Cooper   (NSW Waratahs)
14. Drew Mitchell                  (NSW Waratahs)
13. Rob Horne                         (NSW Waratahs)
12. Berrick Barnes                  (NSW Waratahs)
11. Digby Ioane                      (Queensland Reds)
10. Quade Cooper                (Queensland Reds)
9. Will Genia                            (Queensland Reds, captain)
8. Scott Higginbotham         (Queensland Reds)
7. Michael Hooper                (Brumbies)
6. Dave Dennis                       (NSW Waratahs)
5. Nathan Sharpe                  (Western Force)
4. Sitaleki Timani                    (NSW Waratahs)
3. Ben Alexander                    (Brumbies)
2. Stephen Moore                 (Brumbies)
1. Benn Robinson                   (NSW Waratahs)

16. Saia Fainga’a                     (Queensland Reds)
17. James Slipper                   (Queensland Reds)
18. Radike Samo                     (Queensland Reds)
19. Liam Gill                             (Queensland Reds)
20. Nick Phipps                      (Melbourne Rebels)
21. Anthony Fainga’a          (Queensland Reds)
22. Kurtley Beale                  (Melbourne Rebels)

Australia v New Zealand @ Eden Park – Historical Notes

• This is the 169th match of a trans-Tasman rivalry that dates back to 1903 when New Zealand won the inaugural meeting 22-3 in Sydney.
• This tally includes the 24 matches played between 1920 and 1928 when NSW represented Australia. The ARU accorded these matches Test status but the NZRU does not include them in its records.
• Of the 168 games played between the two nations, New Zealand has won 116 and Australia 47, with five draws – the most recent of which occurred in Brisbane 24 years ago, when the two teams finished at 19-19 in the second match of the 1988 series. There have been 59 matches between the teams since the last drawn game.
• The Wallabies haven’t prevailed against New Zealand at Eden Park since 1986, when an Andrew Slack-led side won 22-9 to claim the Bledisloe Cup after a 2-1 series win. To put this time frame in perspective: the currently injured Qantas Wallabies skipper James Horwill was just a year old when Australia won that Test in Auckland. The date was September 6, 1986. Horwill was born 15 months earlier on May 25, 1985, while none of David Pocock, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper or Saturday night’s Wallaby leader, Will Genia, had been born
• The last example of an Australian win against the All Blacks on New Zealand soil was in 2001, when the Wallabies scored 23-15 in Dunedin. The All Blacks have won the 13 games that have been played between the two teams in New Zealand since that match.
• 2001 was also the last instance of Australia winning consecutive Tests against New Zealand.
• The first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland was played in 1925, with the home side winning 36-10.
• There have been 25 Tests between the two sides in the city, with New Zealand winning 21 of those contests and Australia four.
• Australia’s wins were achieved in 1949 (16-9), 1955 (8-3), 1978 (30-16) and 1986 (22-9).
• The Wallabies have played two other Tests at Eden Park – both during last year’s Rugby World Cup – for a 6-15 loss to Ireland and a 21-18 win over Wales. 
• New Zealand has won the last 13 Tests it has played against Australia at Eden Park, and has not been defeated on the ground by any country since France prevailed 23-20 in 1994.
• New Zealand has not lost a Test at Eden Park in 18 years with the All Blacks’ undefeated sequence at the venue being extended by this year’s win against Ireland to 29 matches, 28 of which have been won after the run started with an 18-18 draw with South Africa in 1994.
• Australia (10) have fallen more than any other side during the unbeaten sequence, followed by England, France and South Africa (three defeats each).
• Saturday night represents the 82nd Test to have been played by New Zealand at Eden Park. The All Blacks have won 69 of these, which includes the 1987 and 2011 Rugby World Cup finals against France, while losing 10, with two others drawn.
• The Bledisloe Cup was donated by the then Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe, for competition between the two countries in 1931.
• Australia won the trophy for the first time in 1934, beating New Zealand 25-11 in Sydney.
• Australia has not held the Bledisloe Cup since it was relinquished in 2003 during a nil-2 series loss to the then John Mitchell and Robbie Deans-coached All Blacks.
• The Wallabies last ‘won’ a Bledisloe Cup series against New Zealand 2-nil in 2001.
• Just two players – David Campese (8) and Matthew Burke (7) have scored more than the six tries that Adam Ashley-Cooper has posted against the All Blacks. 
• Stirling Mortlock and Lote Tuqiri (both nine) are the only Australians to have scored more than the eight tries Ashley-Cooper has posted in the annual Southern Hemisphere championship formerly known as the Tri Nations.

Eden Park – Background Notes

• Remodelled in preparation for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Eden Park last year became the first venue to have witnessed two Rugby World Cup finals. Both matches saw New Zealand beat France.
• The ground is one of three Test venues to have been used within the Auckland City area. The first ever Test in Auckland was played at Potter’s Park in 1908 when New Zealand beat the Anglo-Welsh.
• In 1958, New Zealand’s 17-8 win over Australia was played at the Epsom Showgrounds while construction of the old number one grandstand at Eden Park was in progress.
• New Zealand lost its first ever Test at Eden Park, 9-5 to South Africa in 1921.
• The ground, which also hosts one-day cricket internationals, is home to the Auckland NPC side and the Blues in Fx Pro Super Rugby and has also hosted NRL rugby league matches in each of the last two years.
• All Black first five-eighths Andrew Mehrtens kicked a world record equalling nine penalty goals in New Zealand’s 34-15 win over Australia in 1999.

New Zealand v Australia at Eden Park

1925: New Zealand 36, Australia 10
1931: New Zealand 20, Australia 13
1946: New Zealand 14, Australia 10
1949: Australia 16, New Zealand 9
1955: Australia 8, New Zealand 3
1962: New Zealand 16, Australia 8
1972: New Zealand 38, Australia 3
1978: Australia 30, New Zealand 16
1982: New Zealand 33, Australia 18
1985: New Zealand 10, Australia 9
1986: Australia 22, New Zealand 9
1989: New Zealand 24, Australia 12
1990: New Zealand 27, Australia 17
1991: New Zealand 6, Australia 3
1995: New Zealand 28, Australia 16
1999: New Zealand 34, Australia 15
2003: New Zealand 21, Australia 17
2005: New Zealand 34, Australia 24
2006: New Zealand 34, Australia 27
2007: New Zealand 26, Australia 12
2008: New Zealand 39, Australia 10
2009: New Zealand 22, Australia 16
2011: New Zealand 30, Australia 14
2011: New Zealand 20, Australia 6 (RWC semi-final)

Other Wallabies Tests at Eden Park (2011 RWC)

2011: Ireland 15, Australia 6
2011: Australia 21, Wales 18 (Bronze Final)

The Streak: New Zealand Unbeaten Sequence at Eden Park – 1994-2011
1994: New Zealand 18, South Africa 18
1995: New Zealand 73, Canada 7
1995: New Zealand 28, Australia 16
1996: New Zealand 36, Scotland 12
1997: New Zealand 55, South Africa 35
1998: New Zealand 40, England 10
1999: New Zealand 34, Australia 15
2000: New Zealand 48, Scotland 14
2001: New Zealand 26, South Africa 15
2002: New Zealand 40, Ireland 8
2003: New Zealand 21, Australia 17
2004: New Zealand 36, England 12
2005: New Zealand 38, British & Irish Lions 19
2005: New Zealand 34, Australia 24
2006: New Zealand 27, Ireland 17
2006: New Zealand 34, Australia 27
2007: New Zealand 42, France 11
2007: New Zealand 26, Australia 12
2008: New Zealand 37, England 20
2008: New Zealand 39, Australia 10
2009: New Zealand 22, Australia 16
2010: New Zealand 32, South Africa 12
2011: New Zealand 30, Australia 14
2011: New Zealand 41, Tonga 10 (RWC)
2011: New Zealand 37, France 17 (RWC)
2011: New Zealand 33, Argentina 10 (RWC Quarter-final)
2011: New Zealand 20, Australia 6 (RWC Semi-final)
2011: New Zealand 8, France 7 (RWC Final)
2012: New Zealand 42, Ireland 10