Wycliff bolsters Wallabies

No 8 Wycliff Palu will start in Australia’s final Bledisloe Cup match in Brisbane this Saturday.

Palu returns from injury to replace Radike Samo, who has been rested ahead of the Wallabies’ end-of-year tour. Other changes to the pack see Scott Higginbotham starting on the flank, and Sitaleki Timani moving back to front lock. Benn Robinson is preferred at loosehead prop.

As reported on Monday, Adam Ashley-Cooper will start on the wing as Digby Ioane has failed to recover from a knee injury.

Coach Robbie Deans has once again opted for five forwards on the reserve bench. Wing Drew Mitchell is the new man among the reserves, having fully recovered from an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, injured flank David Pocock may miss the northern hemisphere tour. Pocock is still battling a knee injury and at this point it seems likely that he will focus on his rehabilitation and aim to make his comeback in the 2013 Super Rugby competition.

Deans will name a 30-man touring squad next week.

Wallabies – 15 Mike Harris, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Adam-Ashley Cooper, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe (c), 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Subs: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Kane Douglas, 19 Dave Dennis, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Drew Mitchell.