Pocock to captain Wallabies
London - Dynamic flank David Pocock has
moved into the leadership role and James O'Conner has shifted into the
Wallabies' playmaking position for Saturday's one-off match against the
Barbarians at Twickenham.
Australian selectors announced on Thursday
that Pocock will deputise as skipper for James Horwill, who is being
rested for the Barbarians match after an arduous World Cup and Super 15
campaign with the champion Reds.
"While he ended the
World Cup with a bit of a shoulder niggle, (Horwill) is in good nick,
given the load that he has carried," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.
"We just felt that this was a good opportunity, both to lessen the load
on James, while also giving David the chance to gain experience
captaining the side."
O'Connor will move into the No 10 jersey in
the absence of regular playmaker Quade Cooper, who suffered a
season-ending knee injury in Australia's third-place playoff win over
Wales at the Rugby World Cup last month.
After playing at wing and
fullback for the Wallabies, the versatile O'Connor will get a chance to
push his claims as a No 10 after earning the starting role ahead of
Berrick Barnes, who will start at inside centre.
The bulk of the
side which beat Wales for third place will return against the
Barbarians, including seven of the eight forwards. In a reshuffled
backline, Adam Ashley-Cooper starts at fullback and Rob Horne comes into
the starting lineup at outside centre, while Lachie Turner returns to
the wing to fill the void left by O'Connor's infield shift.
hasn't lost to the Barbarians since 1976, but realises the danger posed
by the invitational side after it scored wins over New Zealand and
South Africa in the last two years.
"The Baabaa's results against
New Zealand and South Africa have shown what is possible, and what they
can bring to the occasion," Deans said. "They've got class players all
over the field who will play without fear or inhibition. That is going
to make them a very tough outfit to beat."
Australia will play Wales in a one-off Test at Cardiff a week after the Barbarians match.Teams:
Wallabies: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper,
14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane,
10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott
Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu
Polota Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Substitutes: 16 Stephen Moore,
17 Ben Alexander, 18 James Horwill, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Matt Hodgson,
21 Nick Phipps, 22 Ben Tapuai
Barbarians: 15 Isaia Toeva, 14 Sam Tomkins, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Stirling Mortlock, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Adam Thomson, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Sylvain Marconnet, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Eusebio Guinazu
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Jason White, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Richard Kahui, 22 Seru Rabeni