Giteau ruled out for Australia

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The Independent Online

Australia centre Matt Giteau has been ruled out of tomorrow's Cook Cup clash with England after failing to overcome a hip injury.

Berrick Barnes, who played fly-half for the Australian Barbarians against England on Tuesday, has been promoted from the bench to replace Giteau at inside centre.

Peter Hynes will take Barnes' position on the Wallabies bench.

Full-back James O'Connor will assume the goal-kicking duties.

Barnes is a more than capable replacement but the loss of Giteau still represents another blow to the injury-hit Wallabies.

Australia coach Robbie Deans has already been forced to name the most inexperienced Wallaby front row in 27 years following an injury crisis.

Deans is without both his first choice props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander plus the two leading hookers Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Ben Daley, son of former rugby league star Phil Daley, will make his debut alongside hooker Saia Faingaa and tighthead Salesi Ma'afu who boast just two caps and one Test start between them.

Australia captain Rocky Elsom said: "You wouldn't say it's ideal but the way we train and practice it's very much a squad focus so guys can slot in and out.

"And Berrick is no slouch, it's not as though we don't have confidence in him."

Giteau had an 83% kicking success rate for the Brumbies in the Super 14 but O'Connor was impressive with the boot against England on Tuesday, landing four from five as part of a 25-point haul.

O'Connor has not kicked for the Wallabies in a Test before but assistant coach Richard Graham said it was a simple decision, despite Barnes and Quade Cooper being front-line kickers for NSW and Queensland.

"He kicked well the other night and we're happy to continue with that," Graham said.