After a successful trial at No.10 last week James O'Connor will start his maiden Test as a flyhalf for the Wallabies combination for Saturday's James Bevan Trophy Test against Wales in Cardiff.
The selection follows the polished performance from the position given by the new Melbourne Rebels recruit during last weekend's 60-11 win over the Barbarians in London.
Although he didn't score a try, O'Connor directed operations skilfully, varying his running and passing game, while also kicking all eight placed goals that he struck as well as a wobbly but effective field goal.
The Wallabies backline starts in tact from that match, with inside centre Berrick Barnes having recovered from the blow to his back which forced him from the field at Twickenham.
He returns, with last weekend's impressive Wallabies' first-timer Ben Tapuai included on the bench, from where he will get to make his Test debut should he be pressed into action during the game.
Queensland Reds utility back Ben Lucas has also made the bench, as the replacement scrumhalf, and will also be on debut should he be called on to take the field.
There have been 851 players thus far represent Australia in matches that have been accorded Test status by the Australian Rugby Union, the most recent of whom to gain a Test number was Reds wing (& Wallaby No. 851) Rod Davies, during this season's one off match against Samoa in July.
This weekend's game in Cardiff is the 533rd Test match to have been played by a team recognised as representing Australia.
Although 22 of the 26 players in the current touring party featured at the recent World Cup: Barnes, scrumhalf Will Genia and wing Digby Ioane are the only players who will occupy the same starting backline positions on Saturday as they did during Australia's 21-18 win over Wales in third/fourth play-off.
The forward unit boasts a more settled look, with the only change from Eden Park seeing locks Rob Simmons and Nathan Sharpe swap roles. This time Simmons will start, with Sharpe providing reinforcement from the bench.
After scoring two tries during a 30-minute cameo off the bench against the Barbarians, Tour captain James Horwill returns to the starting line-up this weekend, taking over the leader’s armband from last weekend's successful first-time skipper David Pocock.
Pocock nonetheless looms as an important figure for the Wallabies against an opponent he has enjoyed significant success against in the past. This weekend, he will mark Wales captain Sam Warburton, who missed out on the World Cup contest between the two sides due to suspension.
"We experienced ourselves how powerful the additional motivation of playing for a mate can be, when 'Sharpie' [Wallabies lock Nathan Sharpe] had his 100th Test in Auckland," Wallaby coach Robbie Deans said with reference to Wales wing Shane Williams' last match.
"There was no way any of the other players wanted to let him down. I've no doubts that the Welsh lads will be feeling just the same this week as we did in Auckland. Emotion plays a powerful role in competitive sport."
Wales would also see this match as the perfect opportunity to kick on from the team's World Cup advancement by knocking over an opponent ranked higher in the International Rugby Board standings, Deans noted.
"Warren [Wales coach Warren Gatland] will be looking for his group to push on from the World Cup," Deans added, "and this match provides him with a perfect opportunity to do just that as a springboard heading into the next Six Nations."
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 James Horwill, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Ben Tapuai, 22 Anthony Fainga'a.
Date: Saturday, December 3
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT)
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Dave Pearson, Jérôme Garces
TMO: Geoff Warren
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