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Australian team named for Welford Road

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Fly-half Berrick Barnes will captain Australia against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Barnes is one of nine Qantas Wallabies named in the squad for Tuesday who were involved in the 25-16 win over Wales at Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

Rod Davies and Lachie Turner are recognized as among the fastest men in Australian rugby and they will be expected to provide a threat from out wide, while Barnes and Luke Burgess provide an experienced pairing at half-back.

The forward pack includes Brumbies prop Salesi Ma’afu, who has played 10 Tests for Australia this year and spent a short spell with Tigers during the 2007/08 season.

The replacements bench includes hooker Saia Faingaa and 90-cap centre Matt Giteau who both started the win over Wales in their European opener on Saturday.

The Qantas Wallabies won both midweek matches on last season’s tour – beating Gloucester 36-5 and Cardiff Blues 31-3 – and head coach Robbie Deans says the fixtures play a key role in preparing players for international rugby.

“If you look at last year, a number of players emerged out of the midweek fixtures,” Deans said.
“Kurtley Beale played his first game at full-back and Quade Cooper played fly-half and have both since established themselves in the Test side.”

Ma’afu, preparing for his return to Welford Road, said: “These matches are a critical. Sometimes, until you provide an opportunity, you don’t know how players will respond and over the past two years we’ve seen significant response from the players who’ve had that opportunity.”

Tickets for Tuesday’s match are available now from the Tigers ticket office. Phone the hotline on 0844 856 1880, visit the office at Welford Road (open 8.30am-5pm Monday and from 8.30am on Tuesday) or book online by clicking here.

Australia team (v Leicester Tigers, Welford Road, Tuesday 7.30pm)
15 Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds)
14 Rod Davies (Queensland Reds)
13 Pat McCabe (Brumbies)
12 Anthony Faingaa (Queensland Reds)
11 Lachie Turner (NSW Waratahs)
10 Berrick Barnes (c) (NSW Waratahs)
9 Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)
1 James Slipper (Queensland Reds)
2 Huia Edmonds (Brumbies)
3 Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies)
4 Van Humphries (Queensland Reds)
5 Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds)
6 Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds)
7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force)
8 Richard Brown (Western Force)

16 Saia Faingaa (Queensland Reds)
17 Ben Daley (Queensland Reds)
18 Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)
19 Pat McCutcheon (NSW Waratahs)
20 Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels)
21 Matt Giteau (Brumbies)
22 Luke Morahan (Queensland Reds)