Pocock back for Australia's opening game against Fiji

The star flanker's inclusion is the only change to the Wallabies side that scored a record victory over the All Blacks last month.

TOKYO, 19 Sept - Australia have made one change to the side that produced a record-breaking win against New Zealand for their opening Rugby World Cup 2019 game against Fiji on Saturday.

The only change from the line-up that won 47-26 against the All Blacks - the highest points tally conceded by their old foes - in Perth last month is David Pocock's inclusion at flanker.

Rory Arnold is back after a hand injury kept him out of the second Bledisloe Cup game in Auckland, while Nic White and Christian Lealiifano return in the halves after missing the Test against Samoa earlier this month.

The Wallabies XV boasts 600 test caps between them with a further 436 caps among the reserves.

Three of the players - Pocock, pictured, Scott Sio and Michael Hooper, also started the game against Fiji at RWC 2015 and played in the final against the victorious All Blacks. For Pocock and Kurtley Beale, it will be their third appearance at a RWC.

It will be Pocock's first start in the number six jersey since November 2016 and also for the first time in a World Cup game. Prop Allan Alaalatoa, whose brother, Michael, is in Tonga's squad for this tournament, will be following in the footsteps of his father, Vili, who played for Western Somoa at RWC 1991.

Three of the Wallabies - Isi Naisarani, Marika Koroibete and Samu Kerevi, were born in Fiji. Jordan Petaia, one of three teenagers at RWC 2019 and the second youngest player in the tournament, has been left out of the match-day squad with a hamstring injury.

AUSTRALIA

  1. Scott Sio
  2. Tolu Latu
  3. Allan Alaalatoa
  4. Izack Rodda
  5. Rory Arnold
  6. David Pocock
  7. Michael Hooper
  8. Isi Naisarani
  9. Nicholas White
  10. Christian Lealiifano
  11. Marika Koroibete
  12. Samu Kerevi
  13. James O'Connor
  14. Reece Hodge
  15. Kurtley Beale
  16. Jordan Uelese
  17. James Slipper
  18. Sekope Kepu
  19. Adam Coleman
  20. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
  21. Will Genia
  22. Matt To'omua
  23. Dane Haylett-Petty

RNS bdj/mj/ajr