Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Moore returns for Wallabies

Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore has returned to the Australia line-up for this weekend's Cook Cup clash with England.

The hooker had to withdraw from last week's 25-16 win over Wales after picking up a back injury, but is now fit to return to an otherwise unchanged XV.

Moore's return means that Robbie Deans' team will line up with the same front row, along with Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander, that beat Martin Johnson's side 18-9 in the corresponding fixture in last year's autumn international.

Moore's replacement in Cardiff, Huia Edmonds, starts on the bench in place of Saia Faingaa, who drops out of the Wallabies' match-day squad.

Saturday's match represents Australia's first chance to exact revenge on the England team that beat them in their last meeting in Sydney five months ago.

Deans said: "We're under no illusions about what we're up against.

"England played very well against New Zealand. They would have been hopeful of getting more out of that encounter in terms of the result but they played some good rugby.

"We believe that this will be a step up for us based on what we witnessed in the English performance (against the All Blacks) last week, and it's important that we make that step."

Australia team: K Beale; J O'Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, M Giteau, D Mitchell; Q Cooper, W Genia; B Robinson, S Moore, B Alexander, M Chisholm, N Sharpe, R Elsom (capt), D Pocock, B McCalman.

Replacements: H Edmonds, J Slipper, D Mumm, R Brown, L Burgess, B Barnes, L Turner.

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