Genia & Cooper start against the Barbarians

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Cheika names Genia, Cooper as starting halves

ESPN Staff
Quade Copper makes his first start since suffering a serious shoulder injury © Getty Images


Queensland Reds halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper have been included in the Wallabies run-on side to face the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday.

The clash with the invitational side will be new coach Michael Cheika's first in charge, after the New South Wales Waratahs boss took charge following Ewen McKenzie's resignation.

The Reds duo are among a number of changes to the Wallabies side beaten by the All Blacks in Brisbane two weeks ago and will be captained by Matt Hodgson. Cheika has named a new-look front row of Benn Robinson, Saia Faingaa and Ben Alexander while James Horwill will partner Sam Carter at lock. Hodgson has replaced regular skipper Michael Hooper at No.7 while Scott Higginbotham and Ben McCalman start at blindside and No.8 respectively.

In the backs, Brumbies duo Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani will start in the centres while Rob Horne and the newly eligible Henry Speight form a back three alongside John Eales Medal winner Israel Folau.

Cheika said his side had been working hard after arriving in London last weekend. "We've worked really hard this week on ensuring our team has a clear understanding of how we want to play, next is to transfer this into the game on Saturday," he said. You sense they're all looking forward to the opportunity against the Barbarians, and so far I've been impressed with the level of consistency they've brought to their work.

"This team contains a mix of players from our last game and also experienced players eager to push their way into the Test team. We're all looking forward to playing our first game for Australia on this tour."

Australia: (15-1) Israel Folau, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Ben McCalman, Matt Hodgson, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill, Sam Carter, Ben Alexander, Saia Faingaa, Benn Robinson. Replacements: James Hanson, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Will Skelton, Sean McMahon, Nic White, Bernard Foley, Christian Leali'ifano, Joe Tomane.

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