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Wallabies go local with 6 Perth-based players

Wallabies go local with 6 Perth-based players

Australia named six Perth-based players, including teenage fullback James O'Connor, in its squad to take on South Africa in a Tri-Nations rugby test Saturday.
O'Connor, center Ryan Cross, flyhalf Matt Giteau and No. 8 Richard Brown, all members of the Western Force Super 14 side, were named in the starting XV Thursday. Flanker David Pocock and winger Drew Mitchell were named in the reserves as Australia attempts to win its first match after three losses to open the tournament.
The 19-year-old O'Connor has recovered from a calf injury to start a test for the fourth time. Flanker Rocky Elsom was passed fit to play after overcoming an ankle injury.
Center Berrick Barnes and lock Nathan Sharpe were ruled out of the match earlier this week.
Barnes injured his neck and sustained a concussion in the first half of last weekend's 19-18 loss to New Zealand at Sydney, while Sharpe damaged his shoulder.
Australia must beat South Africa to stay alive in this year's Tri-Nations and to remain in contention for the Mandela Trophy, which has been contested on an annual basis by the two countries since 2000.
South Africa leads the series 1-0 after its 29-17 win over the Wallabies at Cape Town last month.
The Springboks were expected to name their squad later Thursday.
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Australia: James O'Connor, Lachie Turner, Ryan Cross, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Hynes, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess; Richard Brown, George Smith (captain), Rocky Elsom, Mark Chisholm, James Horwill, Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Al Baxter, Dean Mumm, David Pocock, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Drew Mitchell.


Updated : 2020-12-06 10:15 GMT+08:00