Wallabies mix it up

Openside flanker Phil Waugh will lead a new-look Australia outfit against Wales on Saturday.

The Wallaby management have affected five positional switches for this game, with the berths of scrumhalf, flyhalf, both centres and loosehead prop all boasting unconventional personnel.

Coach John Connolly has followed through with his plans to experiment with Matt Giteau and Mat Rogers as a halfback combination. Stephen Larkham takes up the unfamiliar position of inside centre in an unusual backline that includes Lote Tuqiri at No 13.

While Rogers has played at No 10 for Australia before, Giteau has not played at scrumhalf for a senior side. Due to a string of halfback injuries and the fact that first-choice No 9 George Gregan is being rested, Connolly has been forced to move Giteau closer to the scrum sooner than expected.

Cameron Shepherd has forced his way into the team after impressing in the Australia ‘A’ loss to the Ospreys on Wednesday night. With the injury to prop Greg Holmes, Al Baxter shifts to the loosehead side, joining the relatively inexperienced pair of Tai McIsaac and Rodney Blake in the front row.

Tour captain Stirling Mortlock and Drew Mitchell were not considered because of injury, but will feature in subsequent games. There is no room in the squad for flanker George Smith, who captained the midweek side against the Ospreys.

Wales team: 15 Kevin Morgan, 14 Gareth Thomas, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Jon Thomas, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Gethin Jenkins, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Adam Jones. Reserves: 16 Rhys Thomas, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Chris Horsman, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 James Hook, 22 Mark Jones.

Australia: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Lote Tuqiri, 12 Stephen Larkham, 11 Cameron Shepherd, 10 Mat Rogers, 9 Matt Giteau, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Phil Waugh (c), 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Dan Vickerman, 4 Nathan Sharpe, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Tai McIsaac, 1 Al Baxter. Replacements: 16 Brendan Cannon, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Mark Chisholm, 19 Stephen Hoiles, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Mark Gerrard, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper.