Rugby

Cheika reunites Cooper, Genia

2014-10-30 20:02
Will Genia (Gallo)

London - Australia's new coach Michael Cheika has reunited dynamic halfback pair Quade Cooper and Will Genia for his first match in charge against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

Largely because of respective shoulder and hip injuries, Queensland Reds duo Cooper and Genia have not played together for the Wallabies since last November's 30-26 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

Cheika, who replaced Ewen McKenzie as coach after Australia's narrow defeat to New Zealand earlier this month, has also selected Fijian-born winger Henry Speight who will play his first game for the Wallabies after a four-year eligibility wait.

But captain Michael Hooper has been rested ahead of the November internationals against Wales, France, Ireland and England.

Cheika believes the mixture of youth and experience in his squad will stand them in good stead for the November matches.

"We've worked really hard this week on ensuring our team has a clear understanding of how we want to play, next is to transfer this into the game on Saturday," he told reporters.

"This team contains a mix of players from our last game and also experienced players eager to push their way into the test team.

"We're all looking forward to playing our first game for Australia on this tour."

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