James O'Connor retains the Australia No 10 jersey for second Lions Test

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 27/06/13 12:20pm

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James O'Connor: Starts at No 10 for Australia

James O'Connor: Starts at No 10 for Australia

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Australia coach Robbie Deans has kept faith in under-fire fly-half James O'Connor for the second Test against the British and Irish Lions in Melbourne.

O'Connor was criticised for his display in the No 10 jersey during 23-21 loss to the tourists in Brisbane.

However he will line up there again for the crucial second Test, with the only changes to the Australia starting XV coming through injury.

Kurtley Beale, who had been tipped to start at fly-half, comes in at full-back while Joe Tomane starts on the wing - with both Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane having been ruled out.

Fit-again

There is a boost for the Wallabies, with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Christian Lealiifano having been passed fit to take their places in the centres.

Rob Horne and the uncapped Jesse Mogg come in on the bench to provide cover to the back division.

Deans has also named the same forwards for match meaning there is no place in the match-day 23 for the fit-again George Smith.

The 32-year-old Smith had been called in to the Australia squad after recovering from a knee injury, however Michael Hooper retains the No 7 jersey, with Liam Gill providing cover on the bench.

Upfront there will be a milestone moment for Ben Alexander, with the tighthead prop set to win his 50th cap.

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.


Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Rob Horne, 23 Jesse Mogg.

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