Eales back to lead Wallabies
September 28, 1999
John Eales is set to play his first test in nearly a year when he returns to lead the Australians against Romania in Belfast on Sunday.
His inclusion is the only change from the side that defeated the All Blacks in the final Bledisloe Cup game in Sydney in August.
Coach Rod McQueen seemed clearly delighted to have the towering second row, and place kicker, back in the side. "There's no question about what John brings to this side. I think all Australians will be thrilled to see him back on the paddock in the gold jersey." said the coach.
Rod Kafer remains at fly half as Stephen Larkham continues to recover from a broken thumb, while both Owen Finegan and Tiaan Strauss are included on the bench.
Both Finegan, who like Eales had a time out of the squad after a shoulder injury, and Strauss are likely to be used in their accustomed role of second half 'impact players.'
Jeremy Paul has returned from injury to win selection as the reserve hooker ahead of Michael Foley.
The Australian team: Matthew Burke; Ben Tune, Daniel Herbert, Tim Horan, Jason Little; Rod Kafer, George Gregan (vice-capt); Toutai Kefu, David Wilson, Matt Cockbain, John Eales (capt), David Giffin, Andrew Blades, Phil Kearns, Richard Harry
Reserves: Joe Roff, Nathan Grey, Chris Whitaker, Tiaan Strauss, Owen Finegan, Patricio Noriega, Jeremy Paul