Genia to start against All Blacks

World Cup final starting halves Bernard Foley and Will Genia have been reunited for the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Sydney on Saturday.

Genia has been recalled to start at halfback ahead of the benched Nick Phipps despite not having played for seven months as he recuperated after knee surgery.

He is one of three France-based veterans included in the starting side after they missed the 3-0 series loss to England in June, joining inside centre Matt Giteau and winger Adam Ashley-Cooper.

A standout during that series defeat, rookie Dane Haylett-Petty retained a spot on the other wing, with vice-captain Rob Horne relegated to the bench.

Coach Michael Cheika has pulled a surprise by naming Western Force No.8 Ben McCalman at blindside flanker ahead of regular Scott Fardy while Kane Douglas returns to the second row alongside Rob Simmons for his first Test start since rupturing his ACL in the 2015 World Cup final.

David Pocock is back No.8 after missing the final two Tests against England through injury and will line up alongside Michael Hooper and McCalman in the new-look backrow.

Cheika regains 282 Tests worth of backline experience with the additions of Genia (66 caps), Giteau (102) and Ashley-Cooper (114).

Brumbies prop Allan Alaalatoa is in line to make his debut after being named on the bench.

Wallabies: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (capt), Scott Sio. Res: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Dean Mumm, Scott Fardy, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Rob Horne.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!