Australia ring the changes

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Australia, still struggling to find the right combination, have made eight changes for their final Group A match against Romania in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

After losing their opening match against South Africa and stuttering to a 27-11 win over Canada, the defending champions desperately need a convincing performance against Romania. Australia must win and rely on South Africa beating Canada to be sure of advancing to the quarter- finals.

In a reshuffled back-line, David Campese, Jason Little and Peter Slattery are rested. Michael Lynagh has been relegated to the reserves, with Rod McCall taking over the captaincy. Matthew Burke, Tim Horan and Joe Roff, all of whom had solid games against Canada, have been retained.

Burke's occasionally wayward kicking was offset by a strong defensive effort. Horan, playing his first Test in more than a year after a severe knee injury, showed glimpses of his devastating running and Roff scored a fine try.

Among the forwards, Tim Gavin, Tony Daly, John Eales and Willie Ofahengaue all play their second match in four days. Michael Foley, who replaced the injured Phil Kearns during the Canada match, keeps his place.

Francois Pienaar returns as captain of South Africa for their final Group A match against Canada on Saturday.

The return of Andre Joubert and Joel Stransky, who played in the win over Australia, are the only changes to the back-line that beat Romania. Pienaar, Hannes Strydom and James Dalton, who all played against Australia, are the changes among the forwards.

Teams, Sporting Digest, page 39

Comments