Cheika makes 4 changes to Wallabies for 2nd England test

16 June 2016, 12:00AM

Australia coach Michael Cheika made four changes on Wednesday to his starting side for Saturday's second test against England, including a new-look front row.

Sekope Kepu and James Slipper join captain Stephen Moore in the front row while second rower Sam Carter will play a test for the first time since Australia's 47-10 win over the United States in Chicago last year.

Cheika also won't replace David Pocock, who has an injured left eye socket, with a traditional No. 8, instead handing Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon a start.

"Based on last weekend's performance, we decided that we wanted some new combinations for Saturday's game," Cheika said. "Sean never takes a backwards step while James and Sekope add plenty of test-match experience."

Pocock is out for the remainder of the three-test series. England won the first test 39-28 in Brisbane last Saturday, while the teams play a third test on June 25 in Sydney.

The backline from last week's loss has been kept intact, with Israel Folau remaining at fullback and Samu Kerevi at inside center after an impressive debut.

But Cheika has swapped both of his props, axing Scott Sio — one of Australia's stars at last year's World Cup.

Experienced lock Rob Simmons (lower back) has been ruled out through injury with Carter to join ACT Brumbies teammate Rory Arnold in the second row.

The extended bench will be trimmed by three players on Friday. It includes Western Force utility Luke Morahan, who could be in line for his first test since his debut against Scotland in 2012.

"Obviously with his (Morahan's) selection, we're looking at a five-three split on the bench as opposed to the six forwards we had last weekend," Cheika said.


Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrani, Samu Kerevi, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rory Arnold, Sam Carter, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), James Slipper. Reserves (three to be omitted): Tatafu Polota-Nau, Toby Smith, Greg Holmes, Dean Mumm, James Horwill, Ben McCalman, Liam Gill, Wycliff Palu, Nick Frisby, Christian Lealiifano, Luke Morahan.

16 June 2016, 12:00AM

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