Cheika shuffles Wallabies pack for Georgia clash

The Australia coach selects his third different fly-half in four matches for Friday's game at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.

TOKYO, 8 Oct - Australia coach Michael Cheika has selected his third different starting fly-half in four matches and shuffled his pack ahead of the Wallabies' final Pool D encounter against Georgia in Shizuoka on Friday. 

Matt To'omua, pictured, started against Uruguay at inside-centre and gets the nod this time at No.10, with Nic White retaining his place at scrum-half. 

To'omua's rival play-maker Christian Lealiifano drops to the bench, and Bernard Foley, Cheika's starting fly-half for the heavyweight pool-stage clash against Wales, is once again missing from the match-day 23.

Michael Hooper, Cheika's regular skipper, is likely to win his 99th cap from the bench, with David Pocock starting in his place at openside flanker and taking the captain's armband. Jack Dempsey, who impressed against Uruguay, slots in on the blindside with Fijian-born Isi Naisarani returning at number eight. Dempsey is the only player to retain his place in the forward pack.

Izack Rodda and Rory Arnold, who starred for the Wallabies throughout the 2019 Rugby Championship, resume their second-row partnership, while the vastly experienced tight-head prop Sekope Kepu comes in to the front row to become the sixth player to win 110 caps for Australia. He starts alongside hooker Tolu Latu and loose-head prop Scott Sio.

The 19-year-old Jordan Petaia is rewarded for his try-scoring test-match debut against Uruguay with another start, although the youngest-ever World Cup Wallaby moves to the right wing with Marika Koroibete returning on the left flank. Kurtley Beale, one of just five starters to keep their place from last weekend, completes a dynamic-looking back three.

Despite scoring two tries and being named player of the match against Uruguay, there is no room for Tevita Kuridrani in the 23, with the fit-again James O'Connor and Samu Kerevi renewing their partnership in the centre.

Australia

1. Scott Sio
2. Tolu Latu
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Izack Rodda
5. Rory Arnold
6. Jack Dempsey
7. David Pocock (capt.)
8. Isi Naisarani
9. Nic White
10. Matt To'omua
11. Marika Koroibete
12. Samu Kerevi
13. James O'Connor
14. Jordan Petaia
15. Kurtley Beale

16. Jordan Uelese
17. James Slipper
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Adam Coleman
20. Michael Hooper
21. Will Genia
22. Christian Lealiifano
23. Dane Haylett-Petty

RNS sdg/ln/pp