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Wallabies ring changes

Australia have made seven changes for Friday's World Cup Pool C clash with the United States in Wellington as they seek to bounce back from their loss to Ireland.

The Wallabies were beaten 15-6 in Auckland last Saturday and will aim to get their tournament back on course in the New Zealand capital's Wellington Regional Stadium.

Five changes come in the pack, with James Slipper called up to start at loosehead prop, Rob Simmons and Nathan Sharpe at second row, Ben McCalman at flanker and Wycliff Palu at number eight. Drew Mitchell replaces James O'Connor on the wing, with Rob Horne in for Pat McCabe at inside centre.

The omission of captain James Horwill means scrum-half Will Genia is to lead the side for the first time, becoming the 78th Wallabies skipper.

The six members of the Wallabies' RWC 2011 squad who missed the entire 2011 Tri Nations campaign have all been selected in the matchday 22, five starting the match and Berrick Barnes on the bench.

It is Australia's second youngest World Cup starting line-up, with an average age of 25 years and 136 days.

The average age of the side that started against the United States at the 1987 tournament was 25 years and 23 days.

Team: K Beale; A Ashley-Cooper, A Faingaa, R Horne, D Mitchell; Q Cooper, W Genia (capt); J Slipper, T Polota-Nau, B Alexander, R Simmons, N Sharpe, R Elsom, B McCalman, W Palu.

Replacements: S Moore, S Kepu, D Vickerman, R Samo, L Burgess, B Barnes, P McCabe.


From Belfast Telegraph