David Pocock has been named at flanker for the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup opener against Fiji on Saturday.
Australia have opted for almost the same team that crushed the All Blacks 47-26 in the Rugby Championship last month.
Pocock’s inclusion in place of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto is the only change to the starting side that faced New Zealand in Perth on August 10.
Rory Arnold is fit to take his place after a hand injury, while Nic White and Christian Lealiifano return in the halves for the Pool D encounter in Sapporo.
“Our goal is to win. I’m sure every team comes to every World Cup believing they can win, and that’s what makes it such a great tournament,” Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) September 19, 2019
“We want to do two things; to do our best to win the tournament but also to show young people in Australia who are watching, how beautiful the game of rugby can be and inspire them to play rugby back home in the future.”
It is the second straight Rugby World Cup at which Australia and Fiji will meet in the pool stage, with the Wallabies winning 28-13 in Cardiff in 2015.
Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O’Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.
Replacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Will Genia, Matt To’omua, Dane Haylett-Petty.
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