Rugby

Cooper benched for All Blacks clash

2016-10-21 07:13
Quade Cooper (Getty)

Auckland - Australia have dropped playmaker Quade Cooper from a rejigged backline as they attempt to thwart the All Blacks' bid for a world record 18th Test victory in Auckland on Saturday.

However, coach Michael Cheika resisted the temptation to rush inspirational flank David Pocock back from injury, instead naming him on the bench and starting the same forward pack that shone against Argentina two weeks ago.

Cooper, who has struggled against New Zealand in the past, was the main casualty as the Wallabies shuffled the backline in the hunt for a first win at Eden Park in 30 years.

He was relegated to the bench to make way for Bernard Foley at flyhalf, allowing Cheika to bring Reece Hodge in from the wing to form an imposing centres pairing with Samu Kerevi.

Henry Speight replaces Hodge out wide, getting his first start after more than a year away from the Wallabies playing sevens.

In the only other change, Nick Phipps comes in for Will Genia after the in-form halfback was recalled by his French club Stade Francais.

Teams:

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

Australia

15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Ala'alatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Sefa Naivalu


Read more on:    wallabies  |  quade cooper  |  rugby
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