Deans makes eight changes to Wallabies


Loose-head prop Benn Robinson will play his first Test in 18 months after being one of eight new faces included in the Wallabies starting side for Saturday night’s clash with Wales.

June 7, 2012 – 10:59AM

Benn Robinson will lead an all-Waratahs front row.Benn Robinson will lead an all-Waratahs front row. Photo: Getty Images

Loose-head prop Benn Robinson will play his first Test in 18 months after being one of eight new faces included in the Wallabies starting side for Saturday night’s clash with Wales.

Robinson, whose 2011 international season was ruined by a serious knee injury, will feature in an all-NSW front-row as Australia try to bounce back from Tuesday night’s upset loss to Scotland.

Coach Robbie Deans has brought in five new forwards and three backs to his starting line-up after the shock 9-6 defeat to the Scots in Newcastle.

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Waratahs’ trio Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu will start up front while NSW teammate Wycliff Palu will play No.8 and Reds lock Rob Simmons will start beside veteran Nathan Sharpe in the second-row.

Centres Pat McCabe and Rob Horne replace Queenslanders Mike Harris and Anthony Faingaa in the midfield, while utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper takes over from Luke Morahan at fullback.

Under-pressure playmaker Berrick Barnes has been retained at five-eighth.

Uncapped Brumbies halfback Nic White has been named as a reserve and will become the 860th Wallaby if he makes his debut off the bench.

A world-class No.1, Robinson’s last Test for the Wallabies was at the end of the 2010 Spring Tour when Australia scored a record 59-16 victory over France in Paris.

Palu’s inclusion means Scott Higginbotham moves from No.8 to blind-side flanker, while back-rower Dave Dennis has kept his place in the 22 as Deans has elected against naming a specialist lock on the bench.

Saturday night’s Test in Brisbane is the first in a three-match series between the Tri-Nations champions and the Six Nations winners.

Australia beat Wales twice last season, downing them in the bronze play-off at the World Cup before scoring a 24-18 win in Cardiff in December.

Wallabies: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Joe Tomane, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes, Will Genia, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock (capt), Scott Higginbotham, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.Res: Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Nic White, Anthony Faingaa, Mike Harris.


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  1. Some very questionable choices here by Dingo…

    Sticking with the Tah’s front-row when the Brumbies have been better…

    No specialist lock (with Kane Douglas, Hugh Pyle and Timani available with the first two in form) on the bench against a very good 3 the Welsh have…

    Having Dave Dennis as the retreaded lock when Ben McAlman usually plays this position and the Brumbie’s Ben Mowen yet again does not get selected despite form… not too mention having another loose-forward on the bench if this was the case…

    Throwing JW’s league recruit into the deep-end…

    With Turner, Mitchell (just back), J’OC, Quade Cooper (just back) and Beale all injured the back-line pretty much speaks for itself (although Faingaa was the only back that played well the other day)…

    I don’t know but I sense this is the Welsh’s best chance at an up-set and the bookies are not giving them a chance…

    Lose this series and Dingo is gone IMO!

    I most certainly hope the Wallabies and Boks don’t get beaten this week… the crowing from the NH will be unbearable…

    At least the AB’s are going to give IRE a hiding…

  2. Bryce,

    If Robbie Deans is out would there be marching and braying in the streets to install….I’m gonna say it…. Jake White?

    Oh My….

  3. Reply to Americano @ 6:52 am:

    Not this season… perhaps if they make the play-offs and do well… he might be used in a technical capacity… but the Brumbies are so happy with him already they’d not let him go without a fight…

    Ewen Macca is the current next-in-line…

  4. Who OK’ed two tests in 1 week, the 1st of which was 3 days after the last round of S15 games? :what:
    Extremely stupid, especially in Aus where there’s already a problem with interest in rugby union.

    But can’t say I don’t like that the Kilts gave them a bit of a snotting!