Sunday 24 September 2017 / 10:02 PM

Wallabies' line-up for third Bledisloe Test

The return of Quade Cooper is the major talking point of the Wallabies’ squad for Saturday’s daunting Bledisloe Cup showdown with the All Blacks in Brisbane.

Cooper, who has been sidelined by shoulder and hip problems since May, will potentially make his first Test appearance in almost 11 months after being named on the bench.

His recall was facilitated by Kurtley Beale’s much-publicised indiscretions and the unavailability of Matt Toomua (concussion), with Christian Leali’ifano picked in the No.12 jumper.

But Queensland scrum-base partner Will Genia has been overlooked again as Nic White retains his place as reserve halfback.

In the only other change to the starting side that lost to Argentina a fortnight ago, Rob Simmons returns from concussion for James Horwill, who drops back to the bench. Will Skelton and Jake Schatz have been omitted from the reserves.

The clash with New Zealand shapes as an ominous task for the Wallabies after a disastrous finish to the Rugby Championship on the field, and a shambolic sequence of events off it.

The outcome may decide the fate of under-fire coach Ewen McKenzie, who made a hash of the Beale-Di Patston saga.

But Suncorp Stadium has proved a tricky venue for the all-conquering All Blacks in recent years. An 18-all draw was the result in the last Bledisloe Cup Test at the venue in 2012, while the Wallabies secured the last Tri-Nations title in 2011 via a 25-20 victory over their archrivals.

WALLABIES SQUAD

 

1. James Slipper
2. Saia Fainga’a
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Sam Carter
5. Rob Simmons
6. Scott Fardy
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. Scott Higginbotham
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Leali’ifano
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Israel Folau

Reserves
16. Josh Mann-Rea
17. Benn Robinson
18. Ben Alexander
19. James Horwill
20. Matt Hodgson
21. Nic White
22. Quade Cooper
23. Rob Horne

 

Bledisloe Cup Test: Australia v New Zealand – 8:05pm, Saturday, October 18 @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

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