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Australia recall big names
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans names team to face England in grudge match.
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2008 12:04 GMT

Matt Giteau focuses on the task at hand [GALLO/GETTY]
Australia have recalled their big names to face England on Saturday in the first match against their arch-rivals since their scrum was destroyed by them in last year's World Cup quarter-final.

Coach Robbie Deans has announced eight changes from the side that beat Italy 30-20 last weekend but just one from the XV who began the 19-14 defeat by New Zealand earlier this month, with Hugh McMeniman replacing Dean Mumm at flanker.

Matt Giteau returns at flyhalf, while wingers Drew Mitchell and Peter Hynes join him in the backline.

In the forwards, flanker George Smith, lock Nathan Sharpe and props Al Baxter and Benn Robinson have all been recalled.

Talking point

Following England's 12-10 World Cup quarter-final victory in Marseille, won almost single-handedly by their forwards, and England's similar domination of the scrum when the sides last met at Twickenham three years ago, the Wallabies scrum has been a big talking point.

Deans, however, said his team had not been placing any extra emphasis on scrummaging ahead of Saturday's Twickenham test.

"A typical emphasis. We do it every week," Deans told a news conference when asked how much the scrum had been a focus of training.

"There's only so much time available to us and you use that as best you can.

"We haven't adjusted the proportions at all but obviously we try and make the preparations specific to the next challenge so we've obviously considered the little amount of footage that we have of this particular England side".

Martin Johnson will be fired up to meet Australia [GALLO/GETTY]
England rookies

England manager Martin Johnson named four debutants in the side that began his reign with last weekend's 39-13 defeat of the Pacific Islands, which Australia captain Stirling Mortlock said would bring some added spice.

"There's a lot of fresh faces in the England team that we haven't seen too much of.

"I guess that adds a bit of spice to this game," the centre said.

"Of what we've seen from last week, England look like a very positive, well gelled attacking unit and that's very exciting."

Deans added Australia's recent record of four losses from their past five visits to Twickenham was irrelevant for Saturday's match.

"The great thing about this game is that the past doesn't have a bearing," he said.

"It's what happens on the weekend.

"England at Twickenham is one of the ultimate rugby experiences."

Source:
Agencies
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