The Wallabies and Ireland collide at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Sunday at 4.30am AEST as the touring Australians continue their quest for a grand slam.
Australian coach Michael Chieka has made two changes, bringing Dean Mumm into the team to boost the lineout and adding Rob Simmons to replace the injured Adam Coleman. Michael Hooper and skipper Stephen Moore return to the side after being rested for the match against France in Paris last week.
The Wallabies are undefeated in their spring tour campaign and look set to claim their first slam since 1984, but Chieka expects this clash will be the team’s “toughest test”. The selection of Mumm reflects Chieka’s assessment of the danger Ireland poses in lineouts and running mauls, needing Australia to be on their game.
He has good reason to fear the Irish. Three weeks ago, Ireland ended the All Blacks 18-match winning streak, beating the Kiwis 40-29.
“Dean brings a lot of experience and quality in that area. But then we’ll probably lose a bit of Lopeti’s ball-carrying, too,” Cheika said.
For Ireland, Paddy Jackson and Garry Ringrose replace the injured half-back Johnny Sexton and inside-centre Robbie Henshaw. Lock Iain Henderson replaces Donnacha Ryan.
Tevita Kuridrani, the try-scoring hero who scored the match-winners in the last two matches, will be a key to the Wallabies plan. The Irish will be relying on the ball-running ability of the powerful Sean O’Brien. The match will be broadcast live on SBS. – Jesse Mullens
Photo of Ireland and the Wallabies contesting the lineout from the Irish Rugby Twitter feed.