Melbourne - The reshuffled Wallabies face a desperate battle to keep alive their
Test series with Eddie Jones's buoyant England in a second Test showdown
in Melbourne on Saturday.
The world's second-ranked team were
ambushed by the well-drilled and motivated Six Nations champions, going
down 39-28 in Brisbane last week to be thrown into an unexpected
do-or-die struggle if they are to take the series to a decider in
Coach Michael Cheika reacted to the shock loss by making
four changes, all of them in the forward pack which came off second best
to physical England in Brisbane.
Veteran props Sekope Kepu and
James Slipper, who gave the Australia scrum more solidity when they came
on as replacements in the first Test, will start, with Sam Carter
forming an inexperienced lock combination with Brumbies team-mate Rory
Lively flank Sean McMahon was named at No 8 as a replacement for the injured David Pocock.
"Based on last weekend's performance, we decided that we wanted some new combinations for Saturday's game," Cheika said.
the former Wallabies mentor and England's first foreign coach, late
on Thursday made two changes to the starting lineup bringing in George Ford
at flyhalf and shifting Owen Farrell to inside centre.
Jack Nowell was another change on the wing with Marland Yarde eased out after scoring a try in the Brisbane series opener.
Jones said he was bracing for a strong Australian response.
"History shows that in the professional era the Wallabies have never lost the second Test," he said this week.
"If you look back at the 2001 Lions series, 2013 Lions series, the Wallabies have always bounced back.
extra pressure is going to come from ourselves. We want to win this
series and we have got an opportunity on Saturday, so we will be as
desperate as the Australians, even more desperate."
got the better of Cheika, his old club team-mate, in the opening Test
with his mind games and also his tactics -- executed to perfection by
flyhalf Owen Farrell - as well as the work-rate and aggression of
flanks James Haskell and Maro Itoje.
England's win was their first in Brisbane in five attempts and only their fourth in 18 internationals in Australia.
Wallabies' task has got harder with the unavailability of star
ball-poacher Pocock for the rest of the series with an eye injury,
leaving Cheika without one of his main weapons at the breakdown.
expects improvement from his revamped team after playing their first
international since losing to New Zealand in the World Cup at Twickenham
last October, while England were battle-hardened from winning the Six
Nations in March.
"It was our first one for seven months and we
knew there'd be some things we wouldn't get right and I think we got a
good handle on what we need to get right for Saturday," Cheika said.
will also be a focus on the Wallabies' scrum after loose-head prop
Scott Sio fell foul of French referee Romain Poite when he was
sin-binned for repeated scrum infringements in Brisbane.
played second-fiddle to England's wily Dan Cole in the scrum, paid the
price and was dumped from the match-day squad by Cheika for Melbourne
despite being one of Australia's stars at last year's World Cup.
African Craig Joubert will officiate in the second Test and his rule
interpretations will have a big say in the outcome of the match. The
Wallabies have yet to lose a Test under Joubert, except against
arch-rivals New Zealand.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 James Slipper
Substitutes (three to be omitted): 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 James Horwill, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Wycliff Palu, 22 Ben McCalman, 23 Liam Gill, 24 Nick Frisby, 25 Christian Leali'ifano, 26 Luke Morahan