Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock has been recalled to face New Zealand in the Tri-Nations Test on Saturday, bolstering an Australian side seeking its first win in Auckland in 22 years.
Injury forced Mortlock out of Australia’s 34-19 win over the All Blacks in Sydney last Saturday, a victory which set the Wallabies atop the Tri-Nations table and gave them an early lead in the four-match Bledisloe Cup series.
News 24 reports that his inclusion is one of two changes to coach Robbie Deans’ starting lineup, with Phil Waugh named to replace the injured Rocky Elson.
Waugh and George Smith will form an imposing flanker partnership against an All Blacks outfit boosted by returning skipper Richie McCaw.
“They’re two quality players, it’s good to get both of them on the ground,” Deans said.
Ryan Cross, who replaced Mortlock in last Saturday’s Test, was named on the bench, bumping Timana Tahu out of the match-day squad.
Hugh McMeniman will take Waugh’s place on the bench.
Australian team for the Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday.
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Stirling Mortlock (captain), 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10. Matt Giteau, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Phil Waugh, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt Dunning, Dan Vickerman, Hugh McMeniman, Sam Cordingley, Ryan Cross, Drew Mitchell.Tweet