Half-ton up for Horwill
Tue, 10 Jun 2014 06:12
It's disappointing to lose three key forwards
Wallaby lock James Horwill will celebrate his milestone 50th game for Australia, when he forms part of a matchday squad boasting three potential debutants.
Australia take on France in the second Test of their June series in Melbourne on Saturday.
The 50-game honour adds to Horwill's career accomplishments and will come in the starting line-up - with the rugged lock re-joining Reds teammate Rob Simmons in the second row.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made three personnel changes to the starting XV from the opening Test.
Hooker Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter (ankle) and back row forward Wycliff Palu (ankle) have all been ruled out through injury.
Medical staff have taken a cautious approach with Palu, who sustained an ankle injury in his milestone 50th game for Australia.
He is expected to return for the final game of the series in Sydney on Saturday 21 June.
Replacing Moore is powerhouse Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau, who produced a devastating 76 minute performance in Australia's 50-23 victory over the French at the weekend.
Horwill comes in for Carter, while Western Force workhorse Ben McCalman continues his breakthrough 2014 campaign with selection at No.8.
Three players are also in line to make their Test debuts with Western Force hooker Nathan Charles and Melbourne Rebels pair Laurie Weeks and Luke Jones all chosen on the bench.
The Rebels will have a strong Melbourne contingent in the Wallabies side for Saturday's match on home soil.
Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham is another looking to make an impact in the game as a replacement.
"It's disappointing to lose three key forwards through injury," coach Ewen McKenzie said.
"However, in Tatafu, James and Ben, we're bringing in a collective 126 game of international Test experience.
"They understand what Tests are all about and will be determined to make the most of the opportunities they're being given.
"A special mention must be made of James, who plays his milestone 50th game for Australia this week.
"I've seen the many contributions he's made to this country over a long period and I couldn't be more pleased to be part of his milestone game on Saturday.
"Congratulations also to our three potential debutants.
"It's a huge honour to represent your country and if they get an opportunity from the bench I know they will do this team proud."
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Pat McCabe.
Date: Saturday, June 14
Venue: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Kick-off: 20.00 (10.00 GMT; 12.00 French time)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
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