Rugby World Cup 2015: David Pocock makes Australia return

Australia's David Pocock
David Pocock is hoping to help Australia win a third Rugby World Cup
Argentina v Australia
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sunday, 25 October Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus live text commentary and report on the BBC Sport website.

Australia's David Pocock and Israel Folau will return to the side for Sunday's World Cup semi-final with Argentina at Twickenham.

Number eight Pocock (calf) and full-back Folau (ankle) missed last week's quarter-final win over Scotland but were declared fit to play after a full-contact training session on Friday.

Prop Scott Sio (elbow) will be replaced by James Slipper.

Loose forward Ben McCalman and utility back Kurtley Beale return to the bench.

Vice-captain Michael Hooper will make his 50th Test appearance.

2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final line-up
South Africa v New ZealandSaturday 24 October at Twickenham, 16:00 BST start
Argentina v AustraliaSunday 25 October at Twickenham, 16:00 GMT start

The Wallabies were due to name the side on Friday morning for the Twickenham game but delayed the announcement for several hours so they could conduct a full-contact training session.

Slipper will play his 73rd Test, making him the most-capped prop to play for Australia. The 15 players have 876 Test appearances between them.

"James has been pushing for a starting spot with his performances as a finisher and I know he'll take it with both hands," Australia head coach Michael Cheika said.

"James is a leader in our squad and has performed well through this tournament so far and in the lead-up matches."

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Drew Mitchell retains his place on the wing, needing just one more try to draw level with Bryan Habana and Jonah Lomu as the all-time Rugby World Cup leading try scorer.

The Wallabies are seeking to reach their first World Cup final since 2003.

What they said

Australia head coach Michael Cheika said: "This weekend is a great opportunity for the lads to improve on last week and take advantage of the chance to play on such a big stage.

"This weekend we want to make Australia proud of their team."


Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Will Genia; James Slipper, Stephen Moore (captain), Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, David Pocock.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Toby Smith, Greg Holmes, Dean Mumm, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale.

Match stats

  • This will be the third World Cup meeting between the sides, with Australia winning the previous two both by 13+ points.
  • Argentina have reached the semi-finals in two of the last three Rugby World Cups.
  • The Wallabies have won 10 of the last 11 Tests between the sides in all competitions; however that one win for Argentina did come recently, in 2014.
  • Australia are playing in their sixth Rugby World Cup semi-final, only New Zealand have reached this stage on more occasions (seven).
  • This will be the first time Argentina have ever played a Test match at Twickenham that has not been against England.
  • Argentina have made more metres and offloads in the tournament so far, as well as notching up more defenders beaten than any other side.

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