Wallabies welcome 10 new faces into side for first-ever clash against Georgia

Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika has made 10 personnel changes to his starting 15 ahead of Friday’s final Rugby World Cup Pool Stage clash with Georgia in Shizuoka.

There are five faces that remain from the 45-10 defeat of Uruguay, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To’omua, Kurtley Beale all retained, while exciting rookie Jordan Petaia swaps to the right wing.

David Pocock will captain the new-look side in Michael Hooper’s absence as his workload is eased ahead of a probable World Cup quarter-final in Oita next weekend.

Remarkably, it’s just the seventh time Hooper will start off the bench in what’s set to be his 99th test appearance, and only the second time he’s done so with Michael Cheika as coach.

To’omua will wear the No. 10 jersey for the first time this year, having finished last season at flyhalf for the Wallabies end-of-year clashes against Italy and England.

Friday’s clash will be the first meeting in test history between Australia and Georgia, with the world’s 11th-ranked side competing primarily in the Rugby Europe Championship.

The two highest-ranked teams in Pool D will advance to the quarter-finals, with Wales still having two games left to play before the final eight teams are confirmed.

If Australia finish first or second in Pool D, their quarter-final will be in Oita next weekend (October 19/20) against either France or England from Pool C.

Kick-off on Friday is scheduled for 7:15pm local time.

Wallabies team to play Georgia:

1. Scott Sio (61 Tests)

2. Tolu Latu (17 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (109 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (23 Tests)

5. Rory Arnold (24 Tests)

6. Jack Dempsey (13 Tests)

7. David Pocock (c) (81 Tests)

8. Isi Naisarani (6 Tests)

9. Nic White (29 Tests)

10. Matt To’omua (50 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (26 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (31 Tests)

13. James O’Connor (50 Tests)

14. Jordan Petaia (1 Test)

15. Kurtley Beale (90 Tests)


16. Jordan Uelese (7 Tests)

17. James Slipper (94 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (17 Tests)

19. Adam Coleman (37 Tests)

20. Michael Hooper (98 Tests)

21. Will Genia (108 Tests)

22. Christian Lealiifano (24 Tests)

23. Dane Haylett-Petty (36 Tests)