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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
Experimental Wallabies face Wales
Julian Huxley
Huxley gets his chance with Chris Latham injured
Australia give a first cap to ACT Brumbies' Julian Huxley at full-back for Saturday's Test against Wales at Sydney's Telstra Stadium.

The 27-year-old goal-kicking utility back gets his chance in the injury absence of Chris Latham.

Phil Waugh captains a somewhat experimental side, with George Smith and George Gregan kept on the bench.

Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Matt Dunning win recalls to the starting XV after two-year absences.

Dunning, Stephen Moore and Guy Shepherdson make up the front row, Al Baxter initially selected in Shepherdson's place but then ruled out with bronchitis.

Benn Robinson comes onto the bench, while Mark Chisholm plays alongside Nathan Sharpe in the second row.

We have a strong focus on building the depth within the squad

Australia coach John Connolly

Dan Vickerman, recovering from a shoulder reconstruction, will come off the bench.

Waugh and Rocky Elsom are the flankers with Wycliff Palu at number eight.

Matt Giteau remains at half-back, keeping out Gregan, while Stephen Larkham is at fly-half.

Ashley-Cooper plays in the unfamiliar position of inside centre, with Mark Gerrard and Drew Mitchell on the wings and Stirling Mortlock at outside centre.

"The squad they [Wales] have brought out is different to their Six Nations squad but they have added 200 caps of Test experience and will field a very strong team," said Australia coach John Connolly ahead of the Wallabies' first Test of the year.

"We're expecting a very competitive match which will give us a good starting point for the season and help us understand where we're at as a team.


"We have a strong focus on building the depth within the squad and we are very keen to see how the players perform over the course of the domestic season and Tri Nations."

Wales have not defeated the Wallabies in Australia since 1969 when they won 19-16 in Sydney.

The sides meet again at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 2 June, and will clash in the group stages of the World Cup in Cardiff on 15 September.

Australia: Julian Huxley; Mark Gerrard, Stirling Mortlock, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell; Stephen Larkham, Matt Giteau; Matt Dunning, Stephen Moore, Guy Shepherdson, Nathan Sharpe, Mark Chisholm, Rocky Elsom, Phil Waugh (capt), Wycliff Palu.
Replacements: Adam Freier, Benn Robinson, Dan Vickerman, Stephen Hoiles, George Smith, George Gregan, Scott Staniforth.

Gregan loses Australian captaincy
20 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Wallaby Tuqiri out of Wales Tests
17 May 07 |  Rugby Union
Wallabies cut Paul for Wales test
13 May 07 |  Rugby Union


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