Deans wields selection axe
THE New South Wales Waratahs may be struggling in Super Rugby this season but Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is hoping eight of them can help restore some national pride.
Deans has wielded the axe following the humiliating 9-6 upset loss to Scotland in Newcastle on Tuesday night and has made eight changes to the starting line-up for tomorrow night's Test against Wales in Brisbane.
The all-Waratah front row of Benn Robinson, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu will be keen to put the Wallabies on the front foot.
Loose head prop Robinson will make his first appearance since the record breaking 59-16 win over France in 2010 after being forced to miss all of last year's Test program due to a knee injury.
Kepu is also back from an eye injury sustained in the 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final.
Polota-Nau, who lines up between them at hooker, is one of nine members of the starting XV who also featured during Australia's 24-18 win over Wales in Cardiff last December.
At the back of the scrum, Wycliff Palu returns at No 8 for what will be just his third Test outing since 2009 after a horrific run of injuries.
The return of Palu means Queensland Reds' Scott Higginbotham moves from No.8 to the blindside flank, with flanker Dave Dennis moving to the bench.
Utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper takes over from Luke Morahan at fullback while Brumbies halfback Nic White is a new face on the bench.
The Wallabies have won eight of the nine Tests played between the two sides in Australia.
15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9. Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson. Res: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Dave Dennis, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Nic White, 21 Anthony Fainga'a, 22 Mike Harris