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Ashley-Cooper set for 50th cap

Australia centre Adam Ashley-Cooper will win his 50th cap against Italy on Saturday as part of a starting XV showing five changes from the line-up comprehensively defeated by England at Twickenham last weekend.

Ashley-Cooper, who will become the 35th man to make 50 Test appearances for the Wallabies in Florence, has retained his place but wing Lachie Turner, centre Berrick Barnes and scrum-half Luke Burgess come into the team as James O'Connor, Matt Giteau and Will Genia drop out.

O'Connor's absence is down to his return to Australia for compassionate reasons. He will rejoin the squad ahead of their Test against France next weekend.

In the pack, Queensland Reds prop James Slipper and provincial team-mate lock Rob Simmons make their first starts for their country.

On the bench, Pat McCabe will win his first cap if used, while hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau is in line for a first Test appearance of 2010.

Australia team: K Beale (Waratahs); L Turner (Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), B Barnes (Waratahs), D Mitchell (Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), L Burgess (Waratahs); J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (Brumbies, capt), D Pocock (Western Force), B McCalman (Western Force).

Replacements: Polota-Nau (Waratahs), B Robinson (Waratahs), M Chisholm (Brumbies), M Hodgson (Western Force) W Genia (Queensland Reds), M Giteau (Brumbies), P McCabe (Brumbies).


From Belfast Telegraph