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Deans makes Leicester changes

Australia coach Robbie Deans has predictably rung the changes for his side's clash with Aviva Premiership champions Leicester at Welford Road on Tuesday night.

The Wallabies are captained by fly-half Berrick Barnes, who came off the bench during Saturday's 25-16 victory over Wales in Cardiff.

All seven replacements from the Millennium Stadium win are included with Barnes being joined by hooker Huia Edmonds, scrum-half Luke Burgess, number eight Richard Brown, prop James Slipper and wing Lachie Turner in the starting line-up, while lock Dean Mumm is on the bench.

Two of Saturday's starting line-up are among the replacements in the form of Matt Giteau and Saia Faingaa.

Winger Rod Davies, flanker Scott Higginbotham, 34-year-old lock Van Humphries and outside centre Pat McCabe all make their debuts for their country, while back-rower Pat McCutcheon and scrum-half Nick Phipps will do the same if they come off the bench.

Despite the game falling just four days before the Test against England at Twickenham, Deans says midweek games on tour are a key part of developing strength in depth.

"If you look at last year, a number of players emerged out of the midweek fixtures," he said. "Kurtley Beale played his first game at full-back and Quade Cooper played fly-half and have both since established themselves in the Test side.

"Salesi Ma'afu had his first outing for the Qantas Wallabies and went on to make his Test debut. These matches are critical, to be honest. It provides rugby for the whole group which is invaluable and keeps the entire squad connected. What it offers us is access for everyone.

"Without it we go from Test to Test which doesn't permit us to provide an opportunity for the next tier of player."

Australia have also called hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau into their squad as cover, after Stephen Moore was forced to withdraw from the starting line-up against Wales with a back problem.


From Belfast Telegraph