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Australia 11:05 New Zealand

Australia bolster pack with three changes for international against Ireland

Last Updated: 14/11/13 3:12pm

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Scott Fardy: Back in at blindside flanker for Australia

Scott Fardy: Back in at blindside flanker for Australia

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Australia have made three changes to their pack for Saturday's international against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

Scott Fardy returns at blindside flanker while Sekope Kepu starts at tighthead prop in place of Ben Alexander, who is being rested for the match, which also allows Paddy Ryan to take his place on the bench for the first time this year after making his debut against France last year.

The versatile Rob Simmons will revert to his more accustomed role in the second row as the third change to the side.

"It will be important for us to be extremely accurate at the breakdown, but overall we've gone with a forward pack that is quite capable of dominating in that area, especially with one of our best operators in Scott Fardy coming back from injury."
Ewen McKenzie

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau makes his return from injury via the bench having missed almost half the Super Rugby season and Lions Test series with a broken arm.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said the return of Polota-Nau and the three changes to the pack would help nullify Ireland's combative approach to the breakdown.

"The breakdown is always a key area to any game, but Ireland has been especially vocal this week on the importance they are placing on attacking us there," he said.

Accurate

"It will be important for us to be extremely accurate at the breakdown, but overall we've gone with a forward pack that is quite capable of dominating in that area, especially with one of our best operators in Scott Fardy coming back from injury.

"We'll be looking forward to the challenge and also to the opportunity of building some momentum by winning back-to-back games for the first time this year.

"It will also be exciting to see Tatafu back. He's in very good physical shape and has worked hard since joining us for the Spring Tour to pick-up the knowledge and detail of how we want to play the game.

"In terms of Ben Alexander, we've taken the advice of medical staff that the best option for him this week was to have a rest. We've listened to that advice and are now looking forward to seeing what Sekope and Paddy do with the opportunities they are being given."

Australia are chasing their first back-to-back victories of 2013 after beating Italy 50-20 in Turin at the weekend.

Australia: I Folau, A Ashley-Cooper, T Kuridrani, M Toomua, N Cummins, Q Cooper, W Genia; J Slipper, S Moore, S Kepu, R Simmons, J Horwill, S Fardy, M Hooper, B Mowen (capt).

Replacements T Polota-Nau, B Robinson, P Ryan, S Timani, L Gill, N White, C Leali'ifano, J Tomane.

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