MELBOURNE – Luke Burgess and Peter Hynes will make their test debuts for the Wallabies after being named in the starting team to play Ireland at Melbourne’s Telstra Dome here on Saturday.
The New Zealand Herald reports that New South Wales Waratahs halfback Burgess and Queensland Reds winger Hynes are the two fresh faces in the first run-on side selected by new Wallabies head coach Robbie Deans, and assistants Jim Williams and Michael Foley.
Western Force centre Ryan Cross and Waratahs lock Dean Mumm could also make their debuts after being named on the bench for the one-off clash for the Lansdowne Cup.
New Zealander Deans said the four players earned their selection through form in the closing weeks of the Super 14 competition.
“We said, when we selected our initial squad, that we saw all of the players as being ready to go, and our selection of four new caps today follows through on that philosophy,” Deans said.
“We’ve been impressed with the attitude and the enthusiasm that all of the players have brought into camp. It wasn’t an easy side to pick.”
Burgess, 24, claimed the halfback spot filled for so long by the retired George Gregan after an impressive season with the Waratahs when he featured in 12 of the 14 matches played by the Super 14 finalists.
Hynes, 25, scored five tries during the Super 14 – including one against the Deans-coached Crusaders.
Other features of the first team for 2008 includes the pairing of Matt Giteau at first five-eighth and Berrick Barnes at second five-eighth – swapping the positions they filled at last year’s World Cup.
The starting side contains 10 of the team who played in the Wallabies’ last match, the quarterfinal loss to England at the World Cup.
Cameron Shepherd has won the race to the vacant fullback jersey, with Adam Ashley-Cooper covering the position from the bench, while experienced Reds halfback Sam Cordingley backs up Burgess.
Up front, Reds hooker Stephen Moore will combine in the front row with Waratahs props Benn Robinson and Matt Dunning.
Lock James Horwill, 22, continues his rapid rise by being named to partner Nathan Sharpe at lock in the absence of injured Dan Vickerman.
George Smith beat longtime rival Phil Waugh to the starting openside flanker spot.
Cameron Shepherd, Peter Hynes, Stirling Mortlock (captain), Berrick Barnes, Lote Tuqiri, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill, Matt Dunning, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.
Reserves: Adam Freier, Al Baxter, Dean Mumm, Phil Waugh, Sam Cordingley, Ryan Cross, Adam Ashley-Cooper.Tweet