LARGELY unheralded Brumbies forward Sam Carter has been preferred to ex-Wallabies skipper James Horwill in the starting line-up for the first Test against France at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Sam Carter, known as SOD by his ACT teammates, may be the only new face in the 23-man Australian squad named yesterday, but he is already a household name in Quirindi where he grew up.
That is because he is the son of former Wallaby David Carter, who made his Australian debut back in 1988.
Wallaby fans can expect the newer version, who will become Wallaby No.879, to be in the middle of the tough stuff throughout the game just as his father was in his five Tests that included tours to France and Canada in 1989.
The game will also be a memorable occasion for prop James Slipper and No.8 Wycliff Palu - both will play their 50th Test matches for Australia.
Palu will become just the second No.8 in Australian rugby history to reach the mark, behind only Queensland legend Toutai Kefu (57 games).
Meanwhile Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie confirmed the game's worst-kept secret yesterday by leaving halfback Will Genia out of the line-up.
Despite being widely regarded as the best halfback in the world, Genia was dumped for consistent Brumbies No.9 Nic White.
In an all-new playmaking combination, White will be joined by Waratahs five-eighth Bernard Foley, with star Reds No.10 Quade Cooper (shoulder) out for the rest of the season.
McKenzie said he had multiple reasons to justify leaving out the 55-Test veteran, who led the Reds to the 2011 Super Rugby title when McKenzie was in charge.
"Nic and Bernard are two players who have had a huge influence in the results of their provincial teams over the past two seasons," McKenzie said. "We function in a performance environment, so it's important to reward those who have consistently played at a high level over the course of the season."
It will be White's third starting opportunity for Australia after playing consecutive matches in the No.9 jersey against Argentina and South Africa during last year's Rugby Championship.
Foley, who earned four caps during his maiden Test season in 2013, was rewarded for a dominant Super Rugby campaign.
TEAM: James Slipper, Stephen Moore (c), Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper (v-c), Wycliff Palu, Nic White, Bernard Foley, Nick Cummins, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani, Adam Ashley-Cooper (v-c), Israel Folau. Int: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Pek Cowan, Paddy Ryan, James Horwill, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, Pat McCabe.
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