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Rugby World Cup: Michael Cheika opts to roll out Australia's big guns for Fiji clash

By Andrew Baldock

Australia head coach Michael Cheika says rocket science was not required in his decision to start both of the Wallabies' brilliant openside flankers against World Cup opponents Fiji today (4.45pm).

Michael Hooper and David Pocock will feature at the Millennium Stadium - Pocock wears the No.8 shirt - when the Wallabies target an opening-game victory in a pool that also includes host nation England and 2011 World Cup semi-finalists Wales.

"It's pretty hard not to pick one of them," Cheika said. "It means you pick them both.

"I am not trying to claim there is any brilliant rocket science behind it. You just have two very good players.

"The way they've played throughout the Super Rugby season and in internationals, either together or separately, has forced the coach's hand - and that is exactly what you want."

Australia will effectively knock Fiji out of the Pool A running if they inflict a second defeat on the Islanders just five days after they were beaten by England.

And Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore is eager for World Cup action following a long preparation period in Bath, as he prepares to lead a team that also includes world stars like Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Matt Giteau.

"We've been training really hard, and there has been big competition for a number of spots," Moore said. "We will be blowing pretty hard in that first-half, but we've trained as close as we can to game intensity."

Belfast Telegraph


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