Wallabies reload for Ireland after pipping France
DUBLIN (AP) — The Wallabies have reloaded with Israel Folau, Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Reece Hodge, and Dane Haylett-Petty against Ireland to try and keep their Grand Slam bid alive.
All five were rested from playing France last weekend, when an experimental Australia side eked out a 25-23 win in Paris.
There were only two changes on Thursday to the XV which beat Scotland 23-22 a fortnight ago, both in the forwards.
Ireland managed to limit its changes to the starting lineup to four after the bruising 21-9 loss to New Zealand last Saturday.
Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton (hamstring) and center Robbie Henshaw (concussion) were certainties not to start, and replaced by Paddy Jackson and Garry Ringrose for Saturday's match at Lansdowne Road.
Keith Earls came onto the left wing in place of Simon Zebo, who was in the reserves, and lock Iain Henderson was promoted in place of Donnacha Ryan, who dropped out of the matchday 23.
Flanker CJ Stander and fullback Rob Kearney passed their concussion protocols.
Captain Rory Best will earn his 100th cap, the fifth Irishman to reach the mark.
Into the reserves came lock Ultan Dillane and flyhalf Joey Carberry, who impressed in the historic win over New Zealand in Chicago three weeks ago.
Dean Mumm's lineout savvy for Australia gave him the edge over ball-carrying No. 8 Lopeti Timani, and lock Rob Simmons replaced Adam Coleman, who was injured against Scotland.
Mumm was on the blindside flank, leaving David Pocock to fill in again at No. 8. Mumm was suspended for the tour-opening win against Wales, and was a replacement against Scotland. Timani had done nothing wrong, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.
"We want to focus a little bit more on our lineout this week, and the threat that Ireland might pose there - they're very good in that area," Cheika said. "Dean brings a lot of experience and quality in that area. But then we'll probably lose a bit of Lopeti's ball-carrying, too."
Australia lost to Ireland 26-23 in 2014 on its last visit to Lansdowne Road.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Garry Ringrose, Keith Earls, Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (captain), Jack McGrath. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carberry, Simon Zebo.
Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Dean Mumm, Rob Simmons, Rory Arnold, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), Scott Sio. Reserves: Tolu Latu, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Kane Douglas, Lopeti Timani, Sean McMahon, Nick Phipps, Quade Cooper, Sefenaia Naivalu (one to be omitted).