Australia name unchanged side for second Test against Wales
Tuesday 12 June 2012
While Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley sweats on the fitness of George North and Scott Williams, Australia have given a vote of confidence to the side that won the first Test 27-19.
Wales' midweek side face Brumbies tonight but much of the focus is already trained on the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
North (dead leg) and Williams (facial injuries) are hoping to return to full training on Thursday after the Welsh side has moved on to Melbourne, with Howley describing them as "minor injuries".
Meanwhile, Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is hoping for a clean bill of health for Waratahs tight head prop Sekope Kepu to ensure he can field exactly the same XV.
Kepu strained a tendon in his forearm in Brisbane and will undergo a fitness test before the weekend.
Should he pass, Australia will be unchanged.
Regardless of how North and Williams recover, Wales will not be able to follow Deans' lead.
Number eight Toby Faletau has been ruled out of the tour with a broken bone in his hand, with former captain Ryan Jones primed to step into his shoes having been chosen to lock the scrum against the Brumbies.
Ospreys lock Ian Evans, who played in ever minute of every game in the Grand Slam, is included among the replacements for the midweek fixture after arriving in Australia straight from his wedding on Friday.
If he shows no ill effects of jet lag then he could return to the second row in Melbourne.
Australia side for second Test v Wales: A Ashley-Cooper; C Vuna, R Horne, P McCabe, D Ioane; B Barnes, W Genia; B Robinson, T Polata Nau, S Kepu, R Simmons, N Sharpe, S Higginbotham, D Pocock (captain), W Palu
Replacements: S Moore, B Alexander, D Dennis, M Hooper, N White, A Faingaa, M Harris.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Serena Williams wins Australia Open 2015: American beats Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a sixth title in Melbourne
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election