Mumm to captain Wallabies against Gloucester

Dean Mumm will captain Australia for the first time as the Wallabies begin their Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland against English Premiership club Gloucester on Tuesday.


Brumbies duo Tyrone Smith and Salesi Ma’afu and Mumm’s Waratah team-mates Kurtley Beale and Dave Dennis will make their first appearances for their country after being named in a starting line-up featuring nine players with Test experience.


Centre Ryan Cross, who started the 32-19 defeat by New Zealand in Tokyo on Saturday, makes an immediate return to action as a result of the injuries which forced Berrick Barnes and Rob Horne to withdraw from the squad last week.


“We had intended to avoid backing anyone up in the midweek fixture who had started against the All Blacks, but our injury circumstance in the midfield meant that Ryan was required to start,” said head coach Robbie Deans.


“We did look at starting Matt Toomua, but as he only joined the squad on Sunday when we arrived in London, and would only have the benefit of one day of preparation with the team, we felt that backing up Ryan was the better option.


“He got through the game last Saturday well and indicated to me straight after the Test match that he was keen to play.”

 

Gloucester have struggled in the early stages of the Premiership season but, with 24 internationals including former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer on their roster, will still provide a stern test for the tourists.

Australia (15-1)


Kurtley Beale; Lachie Turner, Ryan Cross, Tyrone Smith, Drew Mitchell; Quade Cooper, Luke Burgess; Richard Brown, Matt Hodgson, Mitchell Chapman, Dean Mumm (capt.), Dave Dennis, Salesi Ma’afu, Tatafu Polota Nau, Sekope Kepu


Replacements: Pek Cowan, Matt Dunning, Mark Chisholm, Wycliff Palu, Richard Kingi, Matt Toomua, James O’Connor

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