Cheika recalls big guns for Ireland

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:48
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Australia coach Michael Cheika has recalled a host of big-name players for the Test against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Fullback Israel Folau and No.8 Michael Hooper headline six players who are back in the starting XV after sitting out last weekend's 25-23 win over France in Paris.

Stephen Moore, who grew up in Ireland before moving to Australia as a young child, returns at hooker to win his 116th cap and join Adam Ashley-Cooper and Nathan Sharpe as the equal second most-capped Wallabies players in history.

Dean Mumm will start at blindside flank in a reshuffle of the back row with Lopeti Timani named on an extended bench alongside fellow Melbourne Rebels teammate Sean McMahon.

Quade Cooper was also named on the bench after being ruled out prior to kick-off against France last Saturday because of an ankle injury.

The Wallabies are chasing their fourth-straight Test victory, in what would be their best winning sequence since notching seven consecutive wins on their run to the 2015 World Cup Final.

A victory in Ireland would set Australia up for a first tilt at a Grand Slam of the Home Nations since 1984, with a tour-ending match against Eddie Jones' England slated for December 3.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.  
Replacements - from: Tolu Latu, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Kane Douglas, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper, Sefanaia Naivalu.

Saturday: Saturday, November 26 
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.30 (17.30 GMT; 04.30 AEDT Sunday, November 27)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)