Ioane back as Wallabies make changes for England
LONDON (AFP) –
Australia recalled right wing Digby Ioane to their side for the Cook Cup international against England at Twickenham on Saturday in one of four changes to the side thrashed 33-6 by France.
Ioane, who has missed the Wallabies last two Tests with a knee injury, replaced Pat McCabe, out with a neck problem.
Berrick Barnes is selected a full-back after coming off the bench against France in Paris last weekend.
The Wallabies were hammered in the scrum by France but England, who’ve enjoyed their fair share of set-piece success against Australia in recent years, will face a front row bolstered by the return of experienced tighthead prop Ben Alexander.
A wrist injury has prevented Alexander from playing since last month’s 25-19 win over Argentina at Rosario, which sealed second place in the Rugby Championship.
Meanwhile Sitaleki Timani returns to the second row after missing the France match with a back problem.
Timani and Alexander replace Kane Douglas, ruled out with a knee injury, and Sekope Kepu respectively.
Australia had hoped to recall world-class flanker David Pocock for Saturday’s match following a knee problem, only for a calf strain to rule him out of the Test instead.
The talented Michael Hooper continues at seven in his absence, with Kurtley Beale continuing at fly-half.
“There aren’t too many challenges in Test rugby that are greater than playing England at Twickenham,” said under-pressure Australia coach Robbie Deans.
“We are playing an England side that has been building up under its new leadership, and will see Saturday as the chance to lay down a marker for the future,” the New Zealander added.
“They will be excited by the opportunities they saw out of our performance last weekend.
“But it goes both ways — Saturday is a significant opportunity for us as a group as well.
“It’s going to be a great occasion, and one that the whole group is looking forward to.”
Berrick Barnes; Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Tapuai, Nick Cummins; Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps; Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis; Nathan Sharpe (capt), Sitaleki Timani; Ben Alexander, Tatafu Polota Nau, Benn Robinson
Replacements: Stephen Moore, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Brett Sheehan, Mike Harris, Drew Mitchell.