Michael Hooper, Michael Cheika, Rugby, Rugby World Cup

Michael Hooper, Michael Cheika

Rugby: 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

Rugby: 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

8.10.2019

Rugby : 'Pooper' cut as Aussies ring changes for Georgia clash

Tinkering Australia coach Michael Cheika has made wholesale changes to his side to face Georgia on Friday, resting captain Michael Hooper as he ...

Cheika on Monday made 10 personnel changes to his starting line-up for the Pool D clash in Shizuoka, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To'omua and Kurtley Beale keeping their places and teenage sensation Jordan Petaia switched to the right wing.

Breaking up the famed"Pooper" back-row combo of Hooper and David Pocock among a host of changes, Cheika dismissed fears that wrapping key players in cotton wool could have a destabilising effect.

"We've got the most-capped team here but part of the plan is to keep that competition and keep guys in the hunt. There's no excuses - we've just got to concentrate more and take our opportunities."

The hulking Petaia, Australia's youngest ever World Cup player at 19, impressed against Uruguay, crashing over for one try and creating another.

"Consistency is probably something that's eluded us over the last few years," admitted Cheika, ahead of his country's first-ever Test against Georgia.

The Wallabies coach called for his side to be more clinical.

"One of the huge things that's hurt us is penalties snuffing out our momentum," said Cheika, who, already seething over a three-match ban on winger Reece Hodge after Australia's win over Fiji, raged against the World Cup refereeing following defeat by Wales.

Read more: CNA

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