Mercurial Quade Cooper was Thursday recalled to the Wallabies side to face the All Blacks on Saturday, but Kurtley Beale was axed.
Cooper failed to make the bench for the opening Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup clash against New Zealand in Sydney, but has been promoted to starting at flyhalf, with Berrick Barnes shifting to inside centre.
His inclusion in the starting line-up comes at the expense of Beale after a sloppy performance last Saturday, characterised by basic handling errors and missed one-on-one tackles.
Cooper fell short of expectations at the World Cup last year and he could receive a hostile reception at Eden Park after being accused of cheap shots on All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
But he may also help re-ignite the Wallaby attack and give them more kicking options, although Barnes will retain those key duties after an impressive run of form which has seen him kick 19 of 23 attempts in Test matches this year.
"All I want to say is, I'm back. I'm fit, healthy, I'm ready to go," Cooper told reporters, before abruptly leaving a media conference with no further comment.
The Wallabies need all the help they can get to avenge their opening 27-19 defeat with skipper David Pocock and prop Sekope Kepu both sidelined by injury.
Hooker Tatafu Polota Nau also ruled himself out of contention with a buttock strain following a training run Thursday.
This opened the door for Stephen Moore, who will play his 72nd Test and celebrate becoming Australia's most capped Test hooker alongside Jeremy Paul.
"It's not ideal but it's a mature decision that Tatafu has made," coach Robbie Deans said.
"We are in the fortunate position of having good depth at hooker - the fact that we are bringing in a player who is about to become Australia's leading hooker in terms of Test appearances highlights that."
The Waratahs hooker, Polota Nau, who started in last week's opening Bledisloe Cup Test of the year in Sydney, suffered a cork in his backside at Tuesday's training session.
While the injury has showed improvement, and Polota Nau was initially named on Thursday, he was again troubled by the injury during a later training session, approaching the coaches afterwards to stand down.
Other changes to the forward pack will see Ben Alexander slotting in at tighthead for Kepu, while Michael Hooper will run from Pocock's spot on the openside flank.
Will Genia captains the side for only the second time, becoming Australia's third skipper for the year, after first choice James Horwill was injured on the eve of the June Test window.
In the backline, the versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper switches from wing to fullback while Drew Mitchell will take his position.
Mitchell, who last appeared for Australia against Russia at the World Cup, was an unused substitute on the bench last week.
The selectors opted to hold off finalising their replacement due to Polota Nau's injury concern, but Beale is expected to be among them.
The bench won't be confirmed until after Friday's captain's run at Eden Park, Polota Nau may still be included among the reserves, should he complete that session without discomfort.
"If Tatafu can complete training tomorrow [Friday], it may well be that this simply becomes a case of reversing the order in which we use them."
For his part, Polota Nau says his decision was straight forward.
"The team comes first. If I can get through training tomorrow, I'll be available for the bench, but everyone needed to know what was going on now, the team needed to be certain who was playing hooker, and I couldn't provide that," he said.
"This is a massive game for us. Everyone needs to be at their peak if we are to give ourselves a chance."
The Wallabies depart for Auckland on Thursday. A party of 25 players is travelling, with the seven reserves to be determined following Friday's captain's run at Eden Park.
A third hooker, Queensland Reds rake Saia Fainga'a, is among the players travelling.
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.
Date: Saturday, August 25
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-off: 19:35 (07.35 GMT; 09.35 SA time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)