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Nathan Charles starts at hooker for Australia

Updated: Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 07:38 | Comments

Nathan Charles made his debut against France earlier in the year
Nathan Charles made his debut against France earlier in the year

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has shaken up his backline and thrown rookie hooker Nathan Charles into the starting side for their opening Rugby Championship match against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday.

The Wallabies had something of a crisis at hooker with captain Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau suffering knee injuries, while Tole Latu broke his arm in a club match last weekend.

Charles, who made his debut off the bench in the series win over France earlier this year, has got the starting jersey ahead of James Hanson.

Utility back Kurtley Beale has moved to flyhalf, replacing New South Wales Waratahs team mate Bernard Foley, while Adam Ashley-Cooper shifts from right wing to centre in place of Tevita Kuridrani.

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 James Slipper

Replacements (one to be omitted): James Hanson, Pek Cowan,  Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Ben McCalman, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Tevita Kuridrani

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