Chisholm, Cross return

Australia coach Robbie Deans has made four changes to the Wallabies team to face the Springboks in Perth on Saturday.

Lock Mark Chisholm starts in place of the injured Nathan Sharpe, while Ryan Cross returns in the No 13 jersey in a new-look backline.

Adam Ashley-Cooper finds himself at inside centre after Berrick Barnes was ruled out with a concussion he suffered against the All Blacks last Saturday. This could leave the Wallabies vulnerable in the midfield, with Ashley-Cooper having limited game time in his new role and Cross not having started a Test for quite some time.

Quade Cooper has been named on the bench as a utility back for cover.

At tighthead, Ben Alexander starts ahead of Al Baxter, who has has been guilty of leaking too many penalties at scrum time. Deans lost his patience with Baxter last week, substituting him before the break.

This move highlights Deans’ effort to improve on the Wallabies’ ill-discipline, which has been their downfall this season. Baxter’s switch could prove to be a vital decision, considering Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn’s deadly-accurate boot.

The other change sees Peter Hynes slot in at wing, relegating Drew Mitchell to the bench.

Chisholm couldn’t ask for a sterner challenge upon his return than Springbok lineout colossus Victor Matfield, but was adamant that they would remedy their struggles at this facet of play.

‘First and foremost they really slowed the lineout down [in Cape Town] and it gave Victor and the South Africans the chance to see what we were trying to do and what we were trying to achieve and I guess the key for us is to quicken that aspect of the game up,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Wallaby flyhalf Matt Giteau has admitted to being below par thus far, but Deans was convinced he’d improve.

‘He started the season very accurately and some of his [current] performance elements are unusual for him,’ Deans said. ‘It’s out of the ordinary for him but they are imminently fixable.’

Wallabies – 15 James O’Connor, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Ryan Cross, 12 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 11 Peter Hynes, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Richard Brown, 7 George Smith (c), 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 James Horwill, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Dean Mumm, 19 David Pocock, 20 Will Genia, 21 Quade Cooper, 22 Drew Mitchell.