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Shipperley & Beale unleashed on SA

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 06:31
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Just eight Wallabies back from World Cup quarterfinal
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Kurtley Beale has been recalled to the Wallabies starting line-up to face South Africa Saturday, a game that will see Stephen Moore become the most capped hooker in Australian Test history.

Reeling from two defeats in as many weekends to New Zealand, under-fire Australian coach Robbie Deans also handed attacking talent Dominic Shipperley a debut on the wing.

The 21-year-old boasts exceptional pace and Deans, who is under pressure to turn around their fortunes or face the sack, will hope he can inject some urgency into a team humiliated 22-0 by the All Blacks at Eden Park.

With the versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper reverting to centre for the 30th time in his now 69-Test career, Beale is back in the starting 15 after being benched for the last match.

Last term's John Eales Medal winner who will play his 28th Test, 22 of which will have been from fullback, supplied the after-the-siren penalty goal from near halfway which clinched Australia's epic win on the South African Highveldt in 2010.

That win kicked off the Wallabies' current record-equalling four-game winning streak against South Africa, which was continued at last year's World Cup by a nail-biting 11-9 success which eliminated the defending champions from the tournament.

The mercurial Quade Cooper was also included in the side, with the flyhalf recovering from a small leg-bone fracture.

But, as expected, wing Drew Mitchell was ruled out with a ruptured ankle tendon.

Among others missing injured are David Pocock, James Horwill, James O'Connor, Sekope Kepu, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCabe and Ben McCalman.

Such has been the impact of injuries and unavailability in the time since; just eight of the players who started that match in Wellington will reappear in Saturday's starting XV.

Six of the players selected - Beale, Ashley-Cooper, Cooper, Genia, Alexander and Moore - have started in all four of the wins achieved by Australia through the current run against the Boks.

Elsewhere, No.8 Radike Samo returns to the Test starting pack for the first time this year, with Scott Higginbotham relocating to the bench.

Moore, who tied previous record holder Jeremy Paul's tally of 72 Test appearances last month in Auckland, will at Paterson's Stadium take sole ownership of the title as Australia's leading hooker.

The 29-year-old, who earlier in the year became just the 24th Australian to play 100 Super Rugby matches, made his debut against Samoa at Sydney in 2005.

He raised 50 Test appearances on the historic night in Bloemfontein three seasons ago when the Wallabies recorded a dramatic 41-39 victory over South Africa to reclaim the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate.

That trophy, which Australia can retain if it achieves a record fifth win over South Africa in succession this weekend, will provide the first taste of Test rugby for the 21-year-old Shipperley, who steps up after two impressive seasons where he has achieved an excellent strike-rate patrolling the backline flanks for the Queensland Reds.

The scorer of 10 tries from just 24 appearances in Super Rugby, Shipperley has previously represented Australia in Schools, Under-20 and Sevens

Long groomed as a potential star of the future, the Nudgee College (Brisbane) product was a member of the Australian Schools side when it recorded its maiden win on New Zealand soil in the 2008 trans-Tasman Schoolboys Test.

Shipperley also scored a hat-trick for the Under-20 when the side beat South Africa in the semifinals of the 2010 Under-20 World Cup, to reach Australia's maiden Final at that event.

His selection comes just two weeks after Liam Gill, who also starred in the national Schools side a year after Shipperley had featured, became the 861st player to represent Australia in Tests, with Shipperley to claim Wallaby number 862.

The Australian tight five is unchanged from as it last appeared against the All Blacks although Tatafu Polota Nau, who was named at hooker for the Eden Park Test but later withdrew because of injury, has returned via the bench.

There is also a change amongst the backline reinforcements, with Mike Harris reintroduced after he got through 80 minutes of club play in Brisbane last weekend.

The first-year Wallaby came from the bench during his most recent Test match outing, which was just the second of his career, at Melbourne in June, where he kicked a penalty goal in the final act of the match to secure Australia's series victory in the Wales Tour.

The Queensland Reds flyhalf/inside centre will offer an additional goal-kicking option backing up the in-form boot of Berrick Barnes.

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Scott Higginbotham, 19 Liam Gill, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Anthony Fainga'a.

Date: Saturday, September 8
Venue: Paterson's Stadium, Perth
Kick-off: 18.00 AWST (20.00 AEST; 12.00 SA time; 10.00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)

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