Foley back to run the show for Wallabies against Wales

Fly-half Foley to make his first appearance for Australia at Rugby World Cup 2019 as one of several changes for the crucial Pool D match against Wales on Sunday.

TOKYO, 27 Sep - Australia coach Michael Cheika has rung the changes across Australia's backline for Sunday's crunch pool D clash with Wales, bringing four new starters into the XV. 

With winger Reece Hodge serving a three-week ban after being found guilty of foul play during the Wallabies opening win against Fiji, Cheika's hand was somewhat forced but the man who led Australia to the 2015 World Cup final has made some big calls. 

Highly experienced duo, Will Genia and Bernard Foley, above, come in for Nic White and Christian Lealiifano at scrum-half and fly-half respectively. White drops to the bench while Lealiifano, who was Australia's first choice kicker against Fiji, is left out of the match-day 23 entirely.

The Wallabies goal kicking has been shaky throughout 2019 and Cheika appears to be banking on Foley, their top points scorer at RWC 2015, reverting to type in the battle to top pool D and secure a potentially smoother ride through to the latter stages of this tournament. 

Adam Ashley-Cooper will start on the right wing meaning he becomes just the second Wallaby to play in four Rugby World Cups. 

Dane Haylett-Petty, who came off the bench to good effect against Fiji, starts at full-back with Kurtley Beale surprisingly relegated to the bench. 

The forward pack, which, courtesy of two rolling-maul tries, helped drag the Wallabies back from a nine-point second half deficit against Fiji, is unchanged. 

Australia

1. Scott Sio
2. Tolu Latu
3. Allan Alaalatoa
4. Izack Rodda
5. Rory Arnold
6. David Pocock
7. Michael Hooper (capt.)
8. Isi Naisarani
9. Will Genia
10. Bernard Foley
11. Marika Koroibete
12. Samu Kerevi
13. James O'Connor
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Dane Haylett-Petty

16. Jordan Uelese
17. James Slipper
18. Sekope Kepu
19. Adam Coleman
20. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto
21. Nicholas White
22. Matt To'omua
23. Kurtley Beale

RNS ln/ajr