James Slipper leads experimental Wallabies side against United States Eagles in Chicago
ESPN Staff
September 3, 2015
Ruck'n Maul: No time for experimentation in USA

James Slipper will become the 83rd player to captain Australia in a rugby Test when he leads the Wallabies out to play the United Eagles at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday.

Slipper assumed the armbad from Stephen Moore, who has been rested alongside several Wallabies players including Vice-captains Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper, and he is the first prop to captain the team since John Thornett skippered the team during the 1966-1967 Tour of Britain, Ireland and France.

"I am extremely humbled to be given this opportunity to Captain the team on Saturday night at Soldier Field," Slipper said. "There is no greater honour for a player than to lead his country and I am excited to be able to do it with this incredible group of players.

Queensland's James Slipper poses during a Reds portrait session, Brisbane, January 29, 2015
James Slipper © Getty Images

"This Saturday is a really important match for us as a group, especially with a couple of boys making their debuts. We want to put in a performance that shows how hard we've been working over the past few months before we head over to the UK."

Ben McCalman will step into a leadership role with the Wallabies for the first time, named vice-captain along with 95-Test veteran Matt Giteau.

McCalman and Gitea return to the starting line-up alongside Joe Tomane, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Kurtley Beale, Kane Douglas and Sean McMahon, each starting their first Test match of the 2015 international season.

Melbourne Rebels prop Toby Smith and Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro are also in line to debut from the bench.

"Toby is an extremely humble guy, and a very popular member of the group," Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said. "He's been training exceptionally well throughout our 2015 international campaign, and that along with his form during Super Rugby has earned him the right to become a Wallaby. "Taqele is another player who has shown some good form in Super Rugby this season and has great potential. We've been watching with great interest during his World XV and Barbarians matches.

"Both players are desperate to represent Australia and we are looking forward to seeing them take their opportunity in Chicago."

Kurtley Beale; Joe Tomane, Henry Speight, Matt Giteau, Rob Horne; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Wycliff Palu, Sean McMahon, Ben McCalman; Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas; Greg Holmes, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper (captain) Replacements: James Hanson, Scott Sio, Toby Smith, Dean Mumm, Sam Carter, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Taqele Naiyaravoro

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