Giteau & Kuridrani start for Australia against Fiji

Australia's Matt Giteau will start at inside centre against Fiji

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has named his Wallabies team to play in
their Rugby World Cup opening Pool A match against Fij on Wednesday in Cardiff
at the Millennium Stadium.

Fiji played on Friday in the Rugby World Cup opener and they have a short turnaround
against Australia who will be playing their first game six days after the world
cup began.

Coach Cheika has named Toulon playmaker Matt Giteau to start at inside centre
and he will partner Fiji-born Tevita Kuridrani in the midfield.

Kuridrani is one of seven World Cup debutants in Michael Cheika’s experienced
team that boasts a combined 720 caps.

Other debutants in the starting XV include prop Scott Sio, lock Kane Douglas,
flankers Scott Fardy and Michael Hooper, fly-half Bernard Foley and full-back
Israel Folau.

The team will be captained by hooker Stephen Moore, but there was no place
among a strong-looking replacements bench for Giteau’s Toulon teammate Drew
Mitchell, with Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua and Kurtley Beale providing backs cover.

“We’ve been working hard over the past few months and it’s great to be
able to finally pick a team and get started,” said Cheika.

“We know Fiji are a good quality rugby team and in good form. They’ve
showed that recently during the Pacific Cup and their opening match against
England at this World Cup.

“The players have an enormous amount of respect for them and the way they’re
playing the game, especially the improvements in their set piece.

“Our groundwork is done now and we are eager to get into the battle –
a battle we know will be very intense against this Fiji side.

Scrumhalf Will Genia returns to the run-on side for the first time since the
Wallabies’ 24-20 win over South Africa in the opening match of the Rugby Championship
in July.

After Fiji, who lost 35-11 to England in their opening game, the Wallabies
take on Uruguay on a short four-day turnaround at Villa Park, Birmingham on

“It’s important to give everyone an opportunity early on,” said Cheika.

“We’ve done that throughout our lead up to this tournament and I believe
it’s a good way to go.”

Genia will pair up with Foley at half-back, veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper and
Rob Horne taking up the wing spots with Folau at the back.

A strong back row of Fardy, Hooper and David Pocock complement a locking unit
of Douglas and Rob Simmons, while Moore is surrounded by Sio and Sekope Kepu.

The bench also features enormous Will Skelton, who will doubtless play his
usual impact role late in the game at cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.


Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Rob Horne;
Bernard Foley, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; Rob Simmons,
Kane Douglas; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (capt), Scott Sio

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Will Skelton,
Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale

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