Australia v New Zealand, Brisbane
Wallabies recall Palu for Kiwi clash
October 16, 2012
Wycliff Palu is back in the Wallabies' XV © Getty Images
Palu missed the entire Rugby Championship after suffering a shoulder injury in the penultimate match of the 2013 Super Rugby season. Radike Samo has been largely deputising for Palu at No.8 and despite the veteran back-rower starting against Argentina in their final match of the Championship, Samo is left out of the 23-man squad for the Bledisloe Cup clash.
Palu's inclusion is one of four changes to the side that beat the Pumas with Scott Higginbotham starting at blindside and Benn Robinson getting the nod in the front-row. Ashley-Cooper comes back onto the wing after missing the last match with concussion and Drew Mitchell also returns but on the bench.
Coach Robbie Deans was delighted that Ashley-Cooper had recovered in time for the match saying of the versatile back: "He brings with him all-round skill but also a lot of voice in terms of on-field communication, which will be important with a lot of younger players around him."
The All Blacks are currently on a 16-Test winning run with the last defeat they suffered coming at the hands of the Wallabies in Brisbane back in August 2011.
"The All Blacks are the benchmark and proved it again through the Rugby Championship," Deans said. "They are a step up from where we've been, but the guys have shown a lot of resilience over the last two months, and they're excited about the opportunity ahead of them on the weekend."
Australia: Mike Harris, Nick Cummins, Ben Tapuai, Pat McCabe, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps, Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota Nau, Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani, Nathan Sharpe (c), Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu
Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper, Kane Douglas, Dave Dennis, Liam Gill, Brett Sheehan, Drew Mitchell
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