Several high-profile Australian players will be rested for this weekend's Test against Samoa, but captain Rocky Elsom makes his long-awaited return from injury for the season-opening bout.
The Brumbies flank, Elsom, will lead the Wallabies out in Sydney for what will be just his second appearance since Australia's tour finale against France last November after he suffered hamstring and ankle injuries.
Four uncapped players were named Wednesday in the team - which sees Reds stars, including James Horwill and Quade Cooper, rested ahead of the Tri-Nations opener against South Africa later this month.
The Reds stormed to victory against the Crusaders 18-13 in the Super Rugby final last weekend.
Wing Digby Ioane was the only Reds player named in Sunday's starting XV - his first appearance for the national squad since a season-ending shoulder injury against England last June. Four Queenslanders will play off the bench uncapped hooker James Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Beau Robinson and Cooper's halfback partner Will Genia.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the squad had a hectic lead-up to October's World Cup in New Zealand and now was the last real chance to rest players.
"We assessed all of the Queensland guys when they joined us on Monday and decided this was the best course for us," said Deans.
"They've had a big workload already this year. Given that our schedule is so congested, with five Test matches in seven weeks, we felt that now was realistically the only opportunity we had to give them a break.
"They'll get their opportunity, they're excited, and I know they will all contribute when we call on them."
Melbourne Rebels scrumhalf Nick Phipps and lock Sitaleki Timani from the Waratahs make their debuts from the start, while Reds hooker James Hanson and flank Beau Robinson will debut on the bench.
Brumbies inside centre Pat McCabe got the nod after a strong Super Rugby season, winning his first Test start, while Waratahs second row forward Dan Vickerman will complete a remarkable comeback to the international arena with a bench spot.
The Warringah Rats utility back has long been viewed as a midfield option by Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, and has been given his chance, working in tandem with fellow Brumbies Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper on either side of him.
Giteau has been given first shot at securing the flyhalf jersey while Ashley-Cooper returns to centre for the first time this year, having been largely employed on the wing at his Super Rugby franchise.
The wonderfully versatile 27-year-old, who played his 50th Test against Italy in Florence on last year's Spring Tour, ended 2010 as Australia's incumbent centre, after featuring in the Wallabies final nine Tests from that position.
Test veteran Vickerman, 32, put his career on hold to complete his studies at Cambridge in 2008 and has not played for the Wallabies since August of that year. He has 55 caps to his name.
One front row position on the bench is still to be named after prop Benn Robinson injured his knee at training on Tuesday.
Waratahs prop Al Baxter could get called up for a bench position left vacant by team-mate Benn Robinson, who hurt his knee at training Tuesday, with the Western Force's Pek Cowan also under consideration.
Western Force forward David Pocock will be replaced by teammate Matt Hodgson while he rests a minor foot complaint.
In the second row, Timani will become the second member of his family to play Test rugby this year: his elder brother Sione has already represented Tonga in the Pacific Nations Cup tournament.
Deans says the decision was in no way disrespectful to Samoa, with a strong line-up fielded.
"Given the high most of those blokes had last weekend, it's my experience that it does take a little while to come down from that," he says.
"They've refocused quickly on the task at hand representing their country, which is why we've included a good group of those players in the match day 22. They'll get their opportunity, they're excited, and I know they will all contribute when we call on them.
"For two of them [Beau Robinson and James Hanson], it will be their first experience representing Australia and that is a special moment no matter what the circumstance. You only play your first Test once!"
Manu Samoa arrived in Sydney fresh from three matches in the Pacific Nations Cup.
The Pacific Islanders have brought together a strong squad loaded with players who boast both Super Rugby and European club experience.
Five of the players in the Samoan squad were previously coached by Deans at the Crusaders.
"You only have to look at Samoa's results on last year's Spring tour where they drew with Scotland and ran both Ireland and England close to see how competitive they will be," he says.
"They're a proud nation and their players will be excited, both by the prospect of playing on the big stage, but also the opportunity this match presents, both individually but also for Samoa as a team, on the way to the Rugby World Cup."
Sunday will be just the fifth Test between Australia and Samoa but the first since 2005 in Sydney - a match that saw Elsom and Stephen Moore make their Test debuts.
Australia: 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Rocky Elsom (captain), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 TBC, 18 Dan Vickerman, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Beau Robinson, 21 Will Genia, 22 Kurtley Beale.
Date: Sunday, July 17
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 14.00 AEST (04.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
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