Deans deploys first-rate heavies

Robbie Deans has picked his strongest front row and centre combination for the Wallabies’ first Test against Wales.

Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu come into the front row after being left out of the match against Scotland. In the midfield, Pat McCabe and Rob Horne are preferred.

Other changes to the side that lost to Scotland see Wycliff Palu starting at No 8 and Scott Higginbotham moving to blindside flank. Nathan Sharpe is retained and will be joined by Rob Simmons in the second row.

As expected, halfbacks Will Genia and Berrick Barnes will start their second match in the space of five days, as will winger Digby Ioane. Adam Ashley-Cooper is the new face at fullback, while Cooper Vuna comes in for Joe Tomane who has injured his ankle and will be out for six weeks.

Wallabies – 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Cooper Vuna, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Dave Dennis, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Nic White, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Mike Harris.