McKenzie opts for 'traditional' bench

Thu, 14 Aug 2014 06:58
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Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie has opted for a traditional split of five forwards and three backs on the bench, for the Rugby Championship season-opener.

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie has opted for a traditional split of five forwards and three backs on the bench, for the Rugby Championship season-opener.

The Wallabies only finalised the bench on Thursday - for Saturday's encounter with the All Blacks, which also doubles as a Bledisloe Cup clash.

McKenzie initially announced an extended nine-man bench on Tuesday, choosing to wait until later in the week to finalise his exact line-up.

He opted to go with five forwards - hooker James Hanson, props Ben Alexander and Pek Cowan, lock Will Skelton and back row forward Scott Higginbotham.

The three backline replacements are scrumhalf Nick Phipps, flyhalf Bernard Foley and outside back Tevita Kuridrani.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements - confirmed: 16 James Hanson, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.

* The 24th man is Ben McCalman (Western Force)

Date: Saturday, August 16
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 20.00 (22.00 NZ time; 10.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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