England v Australia
Cheika makes three changes for Cook Cup Test
ESPN Staff
November 27, 2014

Michael Cheika has made three changes to Australia's side to start against face England in the Cook Cup Test at Twickenham on Saturday.

Adam Ashley-Cooper moves from left wing to replace the injured Tevita Kuridrani at outside centre, with Rob Horne replacing Ashley-Cooper on the wing to start a Test for the first time in two years. The third change sees Sean McMahon returns at blindside flanker, replacing Luke Jones.

Cheika said that Horne deserved his chance, but he accepted that Brumbies winger Joe Tomane was unlucky not to have been recalled after impressive performances against Wales and France.

"I could have brought Joe back because he's done nothing wrong," Cheika said. "He's done very, very well, but I think this was just an opportunity to give Rob a game. He's played very well all season and I'm sure he'll do a good job. He's very motivated. He's been on my hammer all trip so it's his opportunity now. He can back it up."

McMahon, 20, earned a Test breakthrough after impressing in the tour-opening win over the Barbarians, but Cheika felt he would benefit from a week's rest when he omitted the flanker from the team that lost against Ireland.

"I think he did well in the first couple of games and he would have learned a few valuable lessons," Cheika said. "He needed to have a breather because there's so much emotion with a young guy on his first tour and all that. Give him a rest and let him come back and tear away for the last game."

Rob Simmons, meanwhile, will play his 50th Test for Australia, becoming just the sixth Australia forward to reach the milestone in 2014. James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Horwill and Wycliff Palu have also played their 50th Test this season.

Cheika will finalise his bench closer to the match, leaving the likes of Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper and Will Genia to sweat on making the final cut.

Australia: Israel Folau; Henry Speight, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (captain), Sean McMahon; Rob Simmons, Sam Carter; Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper. Replacements: To Be Announced

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Football

  • Cricket

  • Rugby

    • Days
    • Hrs
    • Mins
    • Secs

    F1 - Belgian GP

  • OtherLive >>

    Golf - Houston Open
    Snooker - China Open
    Tennis - Miami Open