Robbie Deans has sprung a surprise by naming loose forward Radike Samo on the wing for Australia’s clash with Russia on Saturday.
A lengthy injury list has left the Wallabies short of numbers, with Pat McCabe (shoulder), Kurtley Beale (hamstring), Digby Ioane (broken thumb), Rob Horne (broken cheek) and Anthony Faingaa (concussion) all ruled out of the game.
As a result, Deans has been forced to experiment and the versatile Samo - who ended the game against the USA out wide - is the man who finds himself running out with the backs instead of the forwards.
“We’ve had to be a bit creative but it’s never been about the number on their back,” said Deans.
“While some of them might be out of their normal positions, they won’t let us down and will enjoy the opportunity.”
In other changes, Berrick Barnes makes his first start of the season in the number twelve jersey, with Adam Ashley-Cooper moving from the wing to join him in the midfield.
Will Genia, who skippered the team last time out against the Eagles, drops to the bench with Luke Burgess handed a chance at scrum-half.
Lock James Horwill returns to the side and takes over the captaincy from Genia.
Flankers David Pocock and Scott Higginbotham are back in action having recovered from injury and they are joined in the loose trio by Ben McCalman who moves to the back of the scrum.
Hooker Stephen Moore and prop Sekope Kepu are elevated from the bench into starting spots.
The lack of fit back-line players means that Genia and fellow scrum-half Nick Phipps are the only backs amongst the replacements.
Australia: 15 James O’Connor, 14 Radike Samo, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota Nau, 17 Saia Fainga’a, 18 Salesi Ma’afu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Rocky Elsom, 21 Will Genia, 22 Nick Phipps
Date: Saturday, October 1 George Clancy (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Venue: Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Kick-off 15:30 (2:30 GMT)
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa).
George Clancy (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland)