Rugby Championship News

Latham ruled out while Gerrard and Mitchell start





Qantas Wallabies fullback Chris Latham has been ruled out of Saturday’s Bledisloe Cup and Tri Nations Test with a hamstring injury, while Drew Mitchell will take his place in the Number 15 jersey and Mark Gerrard will start on the wing.

Mitchell and Gerrard will start for the first time in Test rugby, having both made their debut off the bench this season, while Matt Giteau moves into the flyhalf position vacated by Stephen Larkham’s season ending shoulder injury.

Hooker Jeremy Paul has been declared fit to take his place in the starting lineup, while further personnel changes to the team include Al Baxter returning as the starting tighthead prop, with Matt Dunning moving back to the reserves.

David Lyons, who missed the last Test with a virus, will start at Number 8, with John Roe at Number 6 and Phil Waugh in the reserves. Morgan Turinui will move to inside centre, pairing up with Stirling Mortlock at outside centre.

In the reserves, experienced Wallabies Brendan Cannon and Elton Flatley have both been named in the 22 for the first time this year, with Stephen Moore making way for Cannon, while Clyde Rathbone returns to the team from injury.

Qantas Wallaby Coach Eddie Jones says while it’s disappointing for Latham, both Mitchell and Gerrard deserve the opportunity to start against the All Blacks.

“Chris got through about 80 percent of the session today, but his hamstring just isn’t right, so we won’t risk him,” said Jones.

“It’s disappointing for Chris, but Drew Mitchell is a player who has really developed well since the start of the Test season and brings with him plenty of enthusiasm.

“He was outstanding against the Junior All Blacks for Australia A in Canberra and Sydney, and then over the last three Tests has gained some good experiences as a replacement.

“Mark Gerrard is another player who has made the most of his opportunities this season, and with both Drew and Mark starting a Test for the first time, they’ll be pretty excited and enthusiastic.”

Jones says the decision between Flatley and Giteau at flyhalf was a tough one.

“Matt Giteau started the first two Tests of the season at flyhalf and will enjoy another opportunity in that role. While Elton has been training well, Matt has the skills and form to do well, and Flats will provide valuable depth on the bench.”

The Qantas Wallabies will arrive in Sydney this afternoon to continue preparations for Saturday’s Test against the All Blacks, with a training free day on Thursday and then their final session of the week at Telstra Stadium on Friday.




Venue:Telstra Stadium, Sydney

Date:Saturday 13 August 2005

Kick off:8:00pm

Referee:Tony Spreadbury (England)

AUSTRALIAN Team for Wallaby Test No. 446

  1. Bill Young
  2. Jeremy Paul
  3. Al Baxter
  4. Daniel Vickerman
  5. Nathan Sharpe (vc)
  6. John Roe
  7. George Smith
  8. David Lyons
  9. George Gregan (c)
  10. Matt Giteau
  11. Lote Tuqiri
  12. Morgan Turinui
  13. Stirling Mortlock
  14. Mark Gerrard *s
  15. Drew Mitchell *s


  1. Brendan Cannon
  2. Matt Dunning
  3. Mark Chisholm
  4. Phil Waugh
  5. Chris Whitaker
  6. Elton Flatley
  7. Clyde Rathbone

23rd Man: Rocky Elsom

Unavailable for Selection due to Injury:

Mat Rogers, Wendell Sailor, Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham 

Available to play Club Rugby in Brisbane and Sydney:

Scott Fava, Nic Henderson, Stephen Moore


*s – First time in the starting team

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