BRISBANE, July 20- Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has made three changes to the Australian team to play South Africa here on Saturday, including the recall of forwards Benn Robinson and Nathan Sharpe.
The Wallabies have struggled badly in the set pieces in their tests against England and Ireland but Deans resisted the urge to make wholesale changes for the Tri-Nations opener.
Robinson takes over from Ben Daley in the front row while Sharpe returns at lock.
However, experienced hooker Stephen Moore, who is returning from a broken jaw, will start on the bench allowing Saia Faingaa to retain his place in the run on side.
Scrumhalf Will Genia comes back into the team after recovering from a broken thumb, pushing Luke Burgess to the bench.
The only other change from the side that scraped a 22-15 win over Ireland in late June is positional, with Adam Ashley-Cooper moving to fullback and James O’Connor taking Ashley-Cooper’s spot on the wing.
Four players — centre Rob Horne, flyhalf Quade Cooper, prop Salesi Ma’afu and Faingaa — will be starting in a Tri Nations match for the first time.
Four of the replacements — utility back Kurtley Beale, loose forward Matt Hodgson, lock Rob Simmons and front rower James Slipper — will play their first Tri-Nations matches if they see action on Saturday.
"We’ve obviously been able to have a good look at both South Africa and New Zealand through their matches over the last two weekends," Deans said.
"The imagery from those games has left our players in no doubt as to the magnitude of the task ahead.
"This competition features the top three sides in the world on the IRB rankings, and we are chasing the other two."
Adam Ashley-Cooper, James O’Connor, Rob Horne, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, Dean Mumm, Salesi Ma’afu, Saia Faingaa, Benn Robinson
Reserves: Stephen Moore, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Matt Hodgson, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale