Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

David Pocock © Gallo Images

Australia's Pocock returns for Wales test

Openside flanker David Pocock returns to the Australia side in one of three changes for Saturday's test against Wales in Cardiff.

The former Wallabies captain has not played since the opening Rugby Championship match against New Zealand in August during which he injured his knee.

He was scheduled to play earlier in the tour but suffered a minor calf strain in Paris. His replacement Michael Hooper has been dropped to the replacements' bench.

"David is one of the best in the world as a player, and is growing every day as a leader, so naturally we are delighted to have him back," coach Robbie Deans said in an Australian Rugby Union (ARU) statement.

"While he has continued to contribute off the field, this tour has been one of frustration for him, but we were not prepared to take any risks and potentially compromise either the player or the team, in terms of his fitness.

"The upside to the wait is that his return comes at a time where we need fresh energy, as was evident at times during our test in Italy last weekend."

Nathan Sharpe will retain the captain's armband in his 116th and final test.

In other changes from the 22-19 win over Italy in Florence, lock Kane Douglas returns from a knee injury in place of the suspended Sitaleki Timani and hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau comes in for Stephen Moore.

After losing to France in Paris, the Wallabies have beaten England and Italy, while Wales have suffered defeats to Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand.

Australia have won their last seven tests against Wales but Deans expects the hosts to come out fighting.

"You don't win two Grand Slams in the last four years (2008 and 2012) while also making the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup without being a quality outfit, and a resilient one," he said.

"If we were in their situation, I know the response I would be expecting."

AUSTRALIA: 15-Berrick Barnes, 14-Nick Cummins, 13-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12-Ben Tapuai, 11-Drew Mitchell, 10-Kurtley Beale, 9-Nick Phipps, 8-Wycliff Palu, 7-David Pocock, 6-Scott Higginbotham, 5-Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4-Kane Douglas, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Tatafu Polota Nau, 1-Benn Robinson.

Replacements: 16-Stephen Moore, 17-James Slipper, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Dave Dennis, 20-Michael Hooper, 21-Brendan McKibbin, 22-Mike Harris, 23-Digby Ioane.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk

Brenden Nel
RIP Lomu
Rugby’s giant – Jonah Lomu – has been cut down.

Tony Johnson
Nice way to end 2015
I am writing this after surviving a fantastic, but exhausting seven weeks of travel around the...

Gavin Rich
Ways to make rugby better
The wake of an excellently organised and entertaining World Cup and the beginning of a new four...

Land Rover`s RWC prediction guide
Match Day 24: Oct 31
Every match day Gavin Rich will bring you his guide to the day's games in order to assist you...