Injured Tomane to miss Wales clash

PA Sport
Robbie Deans has had to make a late change to his team to face Wales
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Robbie Deans has had to make a late change to his team to face Wales

Australia coach Robbie Deans has been forced to make another change to his starting line-up for the opening Test against Wales in Brisbane on Saturday.

Brumbies wing Joe Tomane, who was one of six players who earned their first caps in the 9-6 defeat to Scotland on Tuesday, turned his ankle in training on Thursday and has been ruled out of the contest at Suncorp Stadium.

Tomane's place in the side goes to Cooper Vuna of the Melbourne Rebels. Tomane is expected to be out of action for up to six weeks.

Deans had already reacted to the surprise loss to Scotland by making eight changes from that match.

The all-Waratahs front-row of Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Benn Robinson will start the match, with second-rower Rob Simmons and number eight Wycliff Palu also returning to the starting XV. Scott Higginbotham moves to blindside flanker to accommodate Palu's inclusion.

Deans has also re-shuffled his backline, including Adam Ashley-Cooper at full-back and partnering Rob Horne and Pat McCabe in the centres.

Deans was always going to make changes regardless of the Scotland result, but it is clear a number of players played their way out of the team with poor performances.

Wales are the reigning Six Nations champions and will present much stiffer opposition than Scotland.

The Wallabies beat Wales 24-18 in Cardiff in December and have won eight of the nine Tests played in Australia.

Australia team: A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs); C Vuna (Melbourne), R Horne (NSW Waratahs), P McCabe (Brumbies), D Ioane (Queensland Reds); B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), T Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), N Sharpe (Western Force), S Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), D Pocock (captain, Western Force), W Palu (NSW Waratahs). Replacements: S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), D Dennis (NSW Waratahs), M Hooper (Brumbies), N White (Brumbies), A Fainga'a (Queensland Reds), M Harris (Queensland Reds).

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