Australia v Italy, Rugby World Cup, September 11
Same again for Wallabies
ESPNscrum Staff
September 6, 2011
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans talks to the media alongside Nathan Sharpe and Scott Higginbotham, Australia press conference, Durban, South Africa, August 11, 2011
Wallabies boss Robbie Deans has named a full-strength side for Sunday's clash with the Azzurri © Getty Images

Australia head coach Robbie Deans has stuck to his promise to treat every game in the Rugby World Cup "like a final" by naming his first-choice starting XV for Sunday's tournament opener against Italy.

There are no changes to the side which defeated the All Blacks in Brisbane last month to win the Tri-Nations, meaning Daniel Vickerman, whose start against the Kiwis was his first in green and gold in three years, retains his place in the second-row alongside captain James Horwill.

In addition, Radike Samo holds on to the No.8 jersey after turning in a barn-storming, try-scoring display against the All Blacks in what was his first start for his country since 2004.

The only changes come on the bench, with James O'Connor, who was suspended for one game for missing the official World Cup squad announcement, returning at the expense of Rob Horne, while Tatafu Polota-Nau has been preferred to Saia Fainga'a as cover at hooker.

Australia: Kurtley Beale; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Anthony Fainga'a, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander; Dan Vickerman, James Horwill; Rocky Elsom, David Pocock, Radike Samo.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Luke Burgess, James O'Connor.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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