Wallabies set to storm Kingsholm
November 2, 2009
Carlos Spencer will rekindle his rivalry with Australia © Getty Images
Australia kick off their Grand Slam tour with a midweek game against Gloucester at Kingsholm on Tuesday. Robbie Deans' Wallabies are in need of a morale-boosting victory after slumping to a Bledisloe Cup defeat in Tokyo on Saturday.
A packed shed awaits the Wallabies ahead of their opening Test match against England at Twickenham on Saturday and Deans has blended youth and experience in his side. Waratahs lock Dean Mumm will lead the Wallabies, who have nine full internationals in their starting XV.
Quade Cooper and Luke Burgess are the halfbacks, while Ryan Cross is the only player to back-up from their defeat to the All Blacks. He partners Tyrone Smith in midfield after the Brumbies centre was called in as a late tour replacement for injured Waratah Rob Horne.
Mumm is joined in the second-row by Dave Dennis, the Sydney University lock who is yet to confirm his future at Super 14 level with the Waratahs. Up front, Tatafu Polota-Nau has returned after injury ruled him out of starting the Bledisloe Cup Test and he is joined by Sekope Kepu and the uncapped Salesi Ma'afu.
The Australian bench is loaded with talent as Wycliff Palu, Matt Dunning, Mark Chisholm and James O'Connor provide back-up.
The Cherry and Whites are also in desperate need of a positive result and have registered only two Guinness Premiership victories so far this season. Their loss to Sale last Friday came at a cost for them and England, with Mike Tindall limping off early and Charlie Sharples seeing red for a dangerous tackle.
Sharples gets his chance to atone with another start, in a side captained by the recently-returned Jake Boer. Boer is joined in the back-row by Akapusi Qera and Dan Williams and there is an inexperienced feel to the Gloucester line-up.
Freddie Burns starts at fullback, with Tim Molenaar and Henry Trinder handed starts in the centre. Former All Black Carlos Spencer will rekindle his rivalry with the Wallabies and starts alongside Dave Lewis at halfback.
"We're very much looking forward to this game. It's great for the whole squad to be able to get a match, which is unusual these days," said Deans. "It's kept the boys connected in preparation terms and it's great from a development point of view.
"Playing in Gloucester will be an education for some of these blokes, there's no doubt about that. It's likely to be bucketing it down and we'll all be better for the experience. I've told the players about the Shed as well."
Gloucester: Freddie Burns; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Tim Molenaar, Tom Voyce; Carlos Spencer, Dave Lewis; Paul Doran-Jones, Darren Dawiduik, Pierre Capdevielle; Will James, Adam Eustace; Jake Boer (captain), Akapusi Qera, Dan Williams
Replacements: Ben Phillips, Rupert Harden, Dave Attwood, Apo Satala, Jordi Pasqualin, Jonny May, James Simpson-Daniel
Australia: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); L Turner (NSW Waratahs), R Cross (Western Force), T Smith (Brumbies), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs); S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), T Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs), S Ma'afu (Brumbies), D Dennis (NSW Waratahs), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs, capt), M Chapman (Brumbies), M Hodgson (Western Force), R Brown (Western Force)
Replacements: P Cowan (Western Force), M Dunning (Western Force), M Chisholm (Brumbies), W Palu (NSW Waratahs), R Kingi (Queensland Reds), M Toomua (Brumbies), J O'Connor (Western Force)
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