Slipper to skipper Wallabies in US

Prop James Slipper will become the Wallabies’ 83rd Test captain when he leads Australia out for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup warm up clash with the United States in Chicago.

Slipper takes over from Stephen Moore who has been rested alongside several Wallabies regulars including vice-captains Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper for Saturday’s (Sunday AEST) match at Soldier Field.

Coach Michael Cheika has named Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley in the halves while two uncapped players, prop Toby Smith and winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, are on the bench.

“There is no greater honour for a player than to lead his country and I am excited to be able to do it with this incredible group of players,” Slipper said.

Matt Giteau and Ben McCalman are the vice-captains for the match.

“James led well at Queensland this season, and is an important leader in our squad. This Test match against the USA will give him the honour of captaining his country and the opportunity to lead from the front,” Cheika said.

“We are working hard to develop our leaders and James along with Matt Giteau and Ben McCalman, who lead by example both on and off the field, will make up a strong leadership team.”

Giteau starts at inside centre with Brumbies winger Henry Speight alongside him at outside centre with Joe Tomane and Rob Horne on the wings.

McCalman is the blindside flanker with Sean McMahon the openside, while Wycliff Palu gets a much-needed hitout at No.8.

Tatafu-Polota-Nau returns to the starting lineup at hooker while fullback Kurtley Beale joins McMahon and Douglas in their first run-on Tests of the 2015 international season.

Wallabies team (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Joe Tomane, Henry Speight, Matt Giteau, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Sean McMahon, Ben McCalman, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Greg Holmes, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper (capt). Res: James Hanson, Scott Sio, Toby Smith, Dean Mumm, Sam Carter, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Taqele Naiyaravoro.

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