Western Force skipper David Pocock will become the 79th man to lead Australia in a Test match after being named as captain of the Wallabies for Tuesday's season-opening Test against Scotland in Newcastle.
Pocock will lead after regular skipper James Horwill was ruled out of the June Tests due to the ruptured hamstring he sustained during the Reds' 13-12 win over the Brumbies in Canberra.
Ten of the starting XV were rested from last weekend's Super Rugby round, because the Reds and Force franchises had the bye.
Among those who back up, two Brumbies players - on debut winger Joe Tomane and experienced hooker Stephen Moore - featured in the 27-19 win over the Melbourne Rebels in Victoria. While the starting tight-head prop Dan Palmer is also of the Brumbies, he was rested from last weekend's game.
Flyhalf Berrick Barnes, debutant loose forward Dave Dennis and towering lock Sitaleki Timani, all appeared for the Waratahs against the Hurricanes at Allianz Stadium last evening.
Five of the seven members of the bench also come off weekend rugby, with all but one of these having played on Friday in Melbourne.
"We looked at all the options around each position, in terms of the relative workloads each of the players have already had this year, the amount of preparation we were able to have with them before the game, and their ability to back up off a tight turnaround, before settling on the final combination," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.
"With another Test to follow, four days after Scotland, and given the injuries that we've had to deal with around assembly, it wasn't practical just to base the side for Newcastle around the players who have been able to be with us for all of this last week. We've effectively had to select two combinations to win two Test matches at the same time, although we will obviously assess how we come out of Tuesday's game before finalising our line-up for the first Wales Tour match in Brisbane on Saturday."
The team to play the first of the three Tests against Wales will be named on Thursday once the Wallabies squad moves to Brisbane.
A decision will also be made on which players leave the Wallabies squad after the Scotland match is completed. The players selected for the opening Test of the season will be joined by 16 others, although the group will be trimmed back to 30 before the team moves on to Brisbane on Wednesday.
Brumbies captain Ben Mowen joined the squad as cover for Western Force No.8 Ben McCalman. The Test incumbent from last term, McCalman has been dogged by a shoulder nerve injury this season and is continuing with his rehabilitation, but will remain with the squad in the meantime.
While he has played 120 minutes for the Reds in his comeback from that injury, it was felt that it was too soon to reintroduce Quade Cooper to the Test arena, with more game-time needed before he was ready to take that step. He will return to Queensland to continue his rehabilitation.
"The time we've had with Quade this week has been useful, in terms of getting up to speed with where he is at, while also getting him involved with the group," Deans said..
"However it was clear, both from what he has done for Queensland and in training with us, that he needs more playing time if we can get it for him, before he is ready to play a Test. Quade has done very well in getting back from what was a serious injury. Physically he is in great shape, but confidence is important in any sport and you only build that up with game time. By spending the week with us, he at least now has the background, which gives him a head start when we need to call on him."
The starting XV for Tuesday features five players who make their Test debuts.
This includes the former New Zealand Under-20 representative Mike Harris, who is into his second season with the Reds, after making the move across the Tasman last year.
Harris, who qualifies for Wallabies on heritage grounds representing the birth place of his grandmother, will start from inside centre and handle the goal-kicking.
Tomane, who like Harris was also born in New Zealand, completes his journey into Australia's senior representative team after having represented the Australian Schoolboys alongside the currently sidelined Wallabies star James O'Connor, five years ago.
Reds fullback Luke Morahan has been involved in the Wallaby set-up since 2009, when he scored a try with his first touch of the ball as a senior Australian representative, during the midweek win over the Cardiff Blues.
In-form loose forward Dave Dennis also wins a long-awaited first cap after having featured on the 2009 and 2011 year-end tours, as well as being involved in last year's domestic training squad.
Dan Palmer's selection rewards his off-season decision to relocate to Canberra where he has played a significant part in the Brumbies rejuvenated fortunes, anchoring a well-performed scrum. The 23-year-old had previously been shoe-horned behind the established Test props Benn Robinson, and more especially Sekope Kepu, at the Waratahs.
Brumbies flank Michael Hooper could also earn his prized Wallaby number by gaining a first cap off the bench.
The absence of Horwill, whose timeline for a playing return remains unclear, creates the opportunity to continue to develop Pocock's leadership experience. The 23-year-old is captain of his state, led the Australian side at the Under-20 World Cup in 2008 and the Wallabies in last year's non-cap match against the Barbarians at Twickenham in November.
"Dave [Pocock] has been an established leader within our frame work for some time. He's already led the Wallabies in a non Test match and has handled the job well in difficult circumstances with the Western Force this year," Deans said.
While Scotland arrived in Australia on the back of a disappointing Six Nations, Deans says his men won't be under-rating the visitors, having an immediate reference point to what the Scots are capable of.
Scrumhalf Will Genia and hooker Stephen Moore both featured in the side which suffered an upset 8-9 loss to Scotland at the most recent meeting between the two nations at Edinburgh in 2009.
"They'll be hungry and will sense the opportunity, striking us first up on a limited preparation," Deans added.
"A feature of the Scottish team under Andy Robinson is that they are very well organised. The Scottish teams of my experience have always been extremely physical in their approach, so they will be very direct and come right at us."
Australia: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Mike Harris, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Nick Phipps, 21 Pat McCabe, 22 Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Date: Tuesday, June 5
Venue: Ausgrid Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-off: 20.30 (10.30 GMT)
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