Ashley-Cooper and Cummins return to Australia side for Wales clash

Coach Ewen McKenzie sees game as a tour Grand Final

Adam Ashley-Cooper will start at outside centre against Wales on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Adam Ashley-Cooper will start at outside centre against Wales on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and wing Nick Cummins will return to the Australia team for Saturday’s clash against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Both players were among a group suspended by Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie for last weekend’s appointment with Scotland following a late-night drinking session the previous week in Dublin.

Ashley-Cooper moves from the wing position he filled against Ireland, and Cummins replaces Chris Feauai-Sautia, with Christian Leali’ifano switching from outside to inside centre.

Wing Joe Tomane, who started against Scotland, retains his place in the number 14 shirt.

The Wallabies pack is unchanged for a third successive game, while outhalf Quade Cooper wins his 50th cap.

“We are treating this week a little bit like our Grand Final, so it’s pleasing to bring in some big game players with a lot of experience,” McKenzie said.

“I think everyone will be extremely motivated by the circumstances of the game and the opportunity to play Wales in their backyard.

“ For us to finish (the year) on a high would be good reward for a lot of the hard work being done.

“We are trying to be a consistent side which can come up with answers no matter what the circumstance or environment.”

AUSTRALIA: I Folau (NSW Waratahs); J Tomane (ACT Brumbies), A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), C Leali’ifano (ACT Brumbies), N Cummins (Western Force); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Moore (ACT Brumbies), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs); R Simmons (Queensland Reds), J Horwill (Queensland Reds); S Fardy (ACT Brumbies), M Hooper (NSW Waratahs), B Mowen (ACT Brumbies, capt). Replacements: T Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs), B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), B Alexander (ACT Brumbies), K Douglas (NSW Waratahs), D Dennis (NSW Waratahs), N White (ACT Brumbies), M Harris (Queensland Reds), B Foley (NSW Waratahs).