Deans has faith in Wallabies debutants - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans has faith in Wallabies debutants

By Darren Walton 11/06/2008 11:58:08 AM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans says Queensland winger Peter Hynes and NSW halfback Luke Burgess thoroughly deserve to make their Test debuts against Ireland in Saturday night's rugby Test at Telstra Dome.

In his first match in charge, Deans, along with assistant coaches and selectors Jim Williams and Michael Foley, named Hynes and Burgess among five changes to the starting line-up from Australia's last Test, the shock 12-10 quarter-final loss to England at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

Western Force's former NRL star Ryan Cross and in-form Waratahs lock Dean Mumm could also make their Test debuts after being selected on the bench.

But the inclusion of 25-year-old Hynes ahead of Adam Ashley-Cooper, who played 11 of Australia's 12 Tests last year, was the biggest surprise for the one-off clash for the Lansdowne Cup.

Hynes scored five tries during this year's Super 14 tournament - including one against the Deans-coached Crusaders.

After sparking the Waratahs' run to the Super 14 final, 24-year-old Burgess was the obvious choice as the halfback successor to George Gregan, the world's most-capped player with 139 Tests to his credit before retiring from international rugby after last year's World Cup.

Deans has no doubts the four Test newcomers will rise to the occasion.

"They've obviously got a pretty good background of form. That was pretty evident during Super rugby and they're rewarded with an opportunity at this level, and they'll be fine," he said.

"They've shown they've got what it takes to thrive at this level.

"And while this is their debut for them and obviously their heart rates will get up, it won't be their last.

"It will be a start point, as it is for us. Hopefully it will be as good a start point as possible."

Queensland captain James Horwill edged out Mumm to grab a place in the second row made vacant by an ankle injury to first-choice lock Dan Vickerman.

In the other personnel changes from the World Cup defeat in Marseille, Cameron Shepherd has replaced the injured Chris Latham at fullback and prop Benn Robinson starts in the front row in place of Guy Shepherdson.

Another feature of the first Wallabies line-up for 2008 is the fresh midfield pairing of Matt Giteau at five-eighth and Berrick Barnes at inside centre - the pair swapping the positions they filled at the World Cup.

"We said, when we selected our initial squad (of 30), that we saw all of the players as being ready to go and our selection of four new caps today follows through on that philosophy," Deans said.

"We've been impressed with the attitude and the enthusiasm that all of the players have brought into camp. It wasn't an easy side to pick."

Cameron Shepherd, Peter Hynes, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Berrick Barnes, Lote Tuqiri, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, George Smith, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill, Matt Dunning, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Adam Freier, Al Baxter, Dean Mumm, Phil Waugh, Sam Cordingley, Ryan Cross, Adam Ashley-Cooper.

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