Wallabies keen to give England a walloping

AUSTRALIA scrum-half star Will Genia gets the chance today (11.05am Irish time) to do what he loves doing best – beating England.

Genia has recovered from knee ligament damage in time to be named on the Wallabies bench for the Cook Cup showdown in Perth.

The 22-year-old was so desperate to be involved against England that he spent all week imploring Australia coach Robbie Deans to throw him straight back into the team.

Deans resisted the immediate temptation – but England will be well aware of the impact Genia could make off the bench after his starring performance at Twickenham in November.

“As a young kid, with the Ashes and the World Cup, it just becomes a case of you loving to watch England lose in any sport,” he said.

“My interest in the Australia-England rivalry comes originally through the Ashes because I was a massive cricket fan. That rivalry was definitely ingrained.”

Genia, who was 15 when England beat the Wallabies to win the 2003 World Cup, was surprised that Martin Johnson had opted to retain Toby Flood at fly-half ahead of Jonny Wilkinson.

“I’ve been watching some of Jonny’s recent games with the French club, and he’s been performing well. It’s like Daniel Carter. When he is playing for the All Blacks, they are a much better team,” he said.

Australia head into the game decimated by front row injuries and disrupted by today’s late withdrawal of inside centre Matt Giteau. Berrick Barnes replaces him.

Full-back James O’Connor, who forced his way into the team with a blistering hat-trick for the Barbarians, will take over the kicking duties.

England captain Lewis Moody challenged his players to beat the Wallabies on Australian soil for only the third time in English history.

“We’ve only beaten them twice in our history (both in 2003), it’s a tough challenge and the boys know that. If you don’t get enough motivation from that, then you never will.”

AUSTRALIA: J O’Connor; D Ioane, R Horne, B Barnes, D Mitchell; Q Cooper, L Burgess; B Daley, S Faingaa, S Ma’afu; D Mumm, N Sharpe; R Elsom (capt), D Pocock, R Brown.

Replacements: H Edmonds, J Slipper, M Chisholm, M Hodgson, W Genia, P Hynes, K Beale.

ENGLAND: B Foden; M Cueto, M Tindall, S Hape, C Ashton; T Flood, D Care; T Payne, S Thompson, D Cole; S Shaw, T Palmer; T Croft, L Moody (capt), N Easter.

Replacements: G Chuter, D Wilson, C Lawes, J Haskell, B Youngs, J Wilkinson, M Tait.

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