Wallabies v Uruguay: Everyone wants to play

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Wallabies’ starting side for Sunday’s match against Uruguay has been settled but intrigue still remains around the eight men who’ll take to the bench.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has repeatedly stated the XV for the Uruguay match would be entirely different to that from the Fiji win, opening the door for others to potentially push their cause.

Flyhalf Quade Cooper heads that list, while inside centre Matt Toomua, Joe Tomane and Kurtley Beale will be in contention for back line starting positions.

Vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper is likely to be one of those rested for the second match, as well as fullback Israel Folau and back row pairing Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

Only a hamstring injury to Wycliff Palu would put a spanner in the works, with a backrow reshuffle required if the number eight doesn’t recover in time.

Ashley-Cooper said it would be weird for players if they weren’t striving to be a part of every side of the World Cup.

“They know the starting side of Uruguay but we don’t know who’s playing the bench,” he said.

“So everyone here’s just focusing on preparing.”

“I’m not too sure how to approach it.

“I’d love to play, I think everyone here wants to play Tests, we’re in a world cup it’d be weird not to."

Blindside flanker Scott Fardy is one still unsure of what his exact role could be on Sunday, with the team to be officially announced on Friday night (AEST).

Fardy said there was certainly room for improvement with the Wallabies line out, which suffered once chief caller Rob Simmons left the field against Fiji.

“There was a few issues (with line outs),” he said.

“The first half was excellent, the set piece was great, we got a few maul tries which was excellent from there.”

The Wallabies take on Uruguay on Sunday September 27 at Villa Park, Birmingham at 9pm (AEST).