Giteau, Cooper & Genia start Wallabies against Boks

Australia head coach Michael Cheika has named Matt Giteau, Quade Cooper and
Will Genia in his starting line up for the Wallabies Rugby Championship opener
against South Africa’s Springboks.

Returning Wallaby Giteau will win his 93rd Test cap in the number 12 jersey
at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane following a four-year absence from the Wallabies
program.

Playing inside Giteau will be the Queensland pairing of Genia and Cooper, who
return to the run-on team together for the first time since November 2013.

The returning trio make up three of the four total changes to the team which
ran out against England at Twickenham in the final Test of the 2014 Spring Tour,
with the other change being the return of Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre.

Wallabies Head Coach Michael Chieka said: “I could not have been
happier with the first two weeks of preparation here in Queensland. These players
know they represent a squad of over 50 players who will have some involvement
within the Wallabies program at different stages of the year.”

“With new combinations comes a new level of energy to our team environment
and Will, Quade and Matt certainly bring that.

“Matt is a true professional and his impact on the team dynamic has been
immediate. His form in Toulon and work ethic since joining the squad has been
first class.”

Saturday’s Test also marks the return of two players whose resilience
and perseverance has been rewarded, with Wallabies Captain Stephen Moore
returning to the starting lineup for the first time in over 12 months.

Joining him in the match day 23 is David Pocock, who will make his long-awaited
return from the reserves bench after missing the past two international seasons
through injury.

“It has been a huge effort by Stephen to put himself in this position
to once again captain his country,” said Cheika.

“David has showed tremendous grit and termination to return to the Wallabies
in challenging circumstances. To be out of the Wallabies environment for two
years and return a better a player shows his character; it is something he,
and this country should be proud of.”

On the bench, Cheika has selected the experienced pairing of former Wallabies
Captain James Horwill and Greg Holmes, who has not played a Test for the Wallabies
in almost eight years.

“If you look through our bench we have some exceptional leaders, with
James and David having captained their country at different stages of their
careers.

“With leadership comes responsibility as well. The bench will play a
pivotal role in ensuring we close out the game as well as we open it.”

In his first Test on home soil, Cheika is looking forward to showcasing a new
Wallabies era, in one of the country’s most passionate Rugby cities, Brisbane.

“We want the Australian Rugby fans to be proud of how we play, and the
stage is set for players to put it all on display in front of a very patriotic
and proud Queensland crowd at Suncorp Stadium.”

Australia

1. James Slipper,
2. Stephen Moore, C ,
3. Sekope Kepu ,
4. Will Skelton ,
5. Rob Simmons ,
6. Scott Fardy,
7. Michael Hooper, VC ,
8. Scott Higginbotham ,
9. Will Genia,
10. Quade Cooper,
11. Rob Horne ,
12. Matt Giteau ,
13. Tevita Kuridrani ,
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, VC ,
15. Israel Folau ,

Replacements : 16. Tatafu Polota-Nau ,
17. Scott Sio ,
18. Greg Holmes ,
19. James Horwill ,
20. David Pocock,
21. Nick Phipps ,
22. Matt Toomua ,
23. Drew Mitchell

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