It will be the first time the Queensland Reds playmakers have been paired together by the Wallabies since last November’s 30-26 victory over Wales in Cardiff. Neither has featured for Australia this year with Cooper rehabilitating shoulder and hip injuries and Genia an ankle problem.
Openside flanker Matt Hodgson leads Michael Cheika’s first team selection as head coach. The starting XV numbers 495 caps with four players making Test debuts.
“We’ve worked really hard this week on ensuring our team has a clear understanding of how we want to play, next is to transfer this into the game on Saturday,” Cheika said.
“This team contains a mix of players from our last game and also experienced players eager to push their way into the Test team. We’re all looking forward to playing our first game for Australia on this tour.”
AUSTRALIA: I Folau (NSW Waratahs); H Speight (ACT Brumbies), T Kuridrani (ACT Brumbies), M Toomua (ACT Brumbies), R Horne (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Fainga’a (Queensland Reds), B Alexander (ACT Brumbies), S Carter (ACT Brumbies), J Horwill (Queensland Reds), S Higginbotham (Melbourne Rebels), M Hodgson (Western Force, capt), B McCalman (Western Force).
Replacements: J Hanson (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), W Skelton (NSW Waratahs), S McMahon (Melbourne Rebels), N White (ACT Brumbies), B Foley (NSW Waratahs), C Leali’ifano (ACT Brumbies), J Tomane (ACT Brumbies) – one player to be omitted.