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Wallabies name unchanged side

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Injured prop Sekope Kepu was named Tuesday in an unchanged Wallabies team for the second Test against Wales in Melbourne.

Sydney – Injured prop Sekope Kepu was named Tuesday in an unchanged Wallabies team for the second Test against Wales in Melbourne on Saturday.

Despite concerns over Kepu's fitness with a strained forearm tendon, the tighthead NSW Waratahs prop was named subject to proving his availability later in the week.

“We are hopeful that 'Keps' will be good to go, but we do have a contingency plan in place if we need it,” coach Robbie Deans said.

“There are five props in the group we have with us in Melbourne so we saw no need in bringing anyone extra in.”

Deans said utility back Kurtley Beale was not considered for selection and still had some work to do in his comeback from a shoulder injury.

He said the continuity of the selection reflected the level of last weekend's performance, although he acknowledged that the same would not be good enough for the second of three Tests against the Six Nations champions.

“The Welsh will have seen a lot of opportunity in last weekend's Test,” Deans said.

“They showed during their Six Nations campaign that they are resilient -twice winning games in the final moments.

“That trait was apparent again in a 12-minute period in Brisbane when they closed from 6-20 to 19-20, to put themselves in a position to win the game after we had made the better start.”

Australia won the opening match of the series 27-19 in Brisbane on Saturday.

Australia (15 to 1): Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW); Cooper Vuna

(Melbourne), Rob Horne (NSW), Pat McCabe (ACT), Digby Ioane (Queensland); Berrick Barnes (NSW), Will Genia (Queensland); Wycliff Palu (NSW), David Pocock (Western Force, capt), Scott Higginbotham (Queensland); Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Rob Simmons (Queensland); Sekope Kepu (NSW), Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW), Benn Robinson (NSW)

Replacements: Stephen Moore (ACT), Ben Alexander (ACT), Dave Dennis (NSW), Michael Hooper (ACT), Nic White (ACT), Anthony Fainga'a (Queensland), Mike Harris (Queensland). – Sapa-AFP


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