25 Aug 2016

Quade Cooper returns for Wallabies

4:19 pm on 25 August 2016

Quade Cooper has dislodged Bernard Foley and will start as the Wallabies' five-eighth against the All Blacks on Saturday after a Bledisloe Cup selection shake-up from coach Michael Cheika.

Quade Cooper walks from the field after being issued a yellow card, Auckland 2015.

Quade Cooper walks from the field after being issued a yellow card, Auckland 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Cooper's inclusion is one of five changes made by Cheika following Australia's disastrous first Test 42-8 defeat to the All Blacks.

He was anticipated to come in at No.12 to replace the injured Matt Giteau but instead Foley will shift along to cover that role, with Cooper to make his first international appearance since last year's World Cup in his favoured position.

The mercurial Cooper is coming off a mixed season, which included a stint with French glamour club Toulon as well as a failed attempt at making Australia's rugby sevens team for the Rio Olympics.

The 28-year-old has also historically struggled in New Zealand, where fans have targeted him for abuse.

All Black Richard Kahui tackles Wallaby Quade Cooper.

All Black Richard Kahui tackles Wallaby Quade Cooper. Photo: Supplied

It comes after Giteau (broken ankle), Rob Horne (shoulder) and Matt Toomua (concussion) all suffered injuries in last week's Bledisloe Cup opener defeat, Australia's biggest ever loss on home soil, leaving Cheika with a dire shortage of backline options.

There is another new face in midfield with Samu Kerevi bumping the out-of-sorts Tevita Kuridrani to the bench.

Experienced duo Rob Simmons and Ben McCalman, meanwhile, have been dropped from the squad entirely.

Adam Coleman slots into the second row for Simmons, with Scott Fardy replacing McCalman to restore Australia's usual back-row combination alongside Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

It is the second time in the space of three months lineout general Simmons has been dumped, having suffered the same fate during June's three-Test series against England.

Cheika has also named a potential debutant, Reece Hodge, who is on the bench along with fellow inclusion Will Skelton.

The Australian team to face the All Blacks:

1. Scott Sio (19 Tests)

2. Stephen Moore - C (106 Tests)

3. Sekope Kepu (67 Tests)

4. Kane Douglas (24 Tests)

5. Adam Coleman (1 Test)

6. Scott Fardy (34 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (55 Tests)

8. David Pocock (57 Tests)

9. Will Genia (67 Tests)

10. Quade Cooper (58 Tests)

11. Dane Haylett-Petty (4 Tests)

12. Bernard Foley (31 Tests)

13. Samu Kerevi (2 Tests)

14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (115 Tests)

15. Israel Folau (42 Tests)

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (65 Tests)

17. James Slipper (78 Tests)

18. Allan Ala'alatoa (1 Test)

19. Will Skelton (15 Tests)

20. Dean Mumm (47 Tests)

21. Nick Phipps (43 Tests)

22. Tevita Kuridrani (35 Tests)

23. Reece Hodge*

* denotes uncapped