Australia v New Zealand, Tri-Nations, Sydney, September 11
Home-boy Turner wings in
September 9, 2010
Lachie Turner has been drafted in for the unlucky Drew Mitchell © Getty Images
Robbie Deans has predictably kept the faith with the side that beat South Africa last week, only introducing Lachie Turner for injured winger Drew Mitchell for Saturday's Tri-Nations finale against the All Blacks.
Sydney-born Turner should feel right at home for the ANZ Stadium clash, where the Wallabies will try to beat the All Blacks for the first time since 2008. Mitchell injured his hamstring in the act of scoring a try last week.
Brumbies hooker Huia Edmonds comes onto the bench for the suspended Saia Faingaa in the only other change.
The Australian camp has been in a relaxed mood this week following their thrilling 41-39 win over the Springboks in Bloemfontein. Having got one monkey off their back, that being their 47-year wait to win at altitude in South Africa, confidence seems high that the maturing team can start turning around their horror record against New Zealand.
The Wallabies have a 21-6 record at ANZ, although the All Blacks have inflicted four of those losses. Significantly, Australia's most recent triumph over New Zealand came at the venue two years ago and the All Blacks needed a dramatic late penalty goal to win the corresponding fixture 19-18 last year.
Such records will matter little to Bledisloe debutants Edmonds, Quade Cooper and Ben McCalman. They'll be more interested in joining the Wallabies sides of 2000 and 2008 as the only groups to win three matches in a Tri-Nations campaign.
It's no coincidence Cooper, who was suspended for both of Australia's recent losses to the All Blacks, played in Australia's two wins against South Africa in Brisbane and Bloemfontein.
Wallabies coach Deans said his charges must forget their historic triumph for now and focus on the difficult task at hand.
Deans said: "We can't afford to continue to live in that moment. While the players are aware of the history that was associated with that performance, they are also aware of the significance of playing the All Blacks and the opportunity that they have in front of them this weekend. Hopefully we'll have a big crowd down at the stadium to get in behind them."
Australia: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), M Giteau (Brumbies), L Turner (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), S Ma'afu (Brumbies), M Chisholm (Brumbies), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (Brumbies) D Pocock (Western Force), B McCalman (Western Force).
Replacements: H Edmonds (Brumbies), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), D Mumm (NSW Waratahs), R Brown (Western Force), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), A Faingaa (Queensland Reds).