Ireland will return this weekend to Melbourne’s Telstra Stadium, the scene of their one-point defeat to Australia back in the 2003 World Cup. The last time they met the Wallabies, on a wet night in Dublin in November 2006, the men in green emerged as 21-6 winners.
SUMMER TOUR TEST MATCH: Saturday, June 14
AUSTRALIA v IRELAND, Telstra Stadium, Melbourne, kick-off 8.05pm local time/11.05am Irish time (live Sky Sports 1/RTE Radio LW252/Digital/Radio 1 Extra Stream)
AUSTRALIA: Cameron Shepherd (Western Force); Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds), Stirling Mortlock (ACT Brumbies) (capt), Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds), Lote Tuqiri (NSW Waratahs); Matt Giteau (Western Force), Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs); Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Queensland Reds), Matt Dunning (NSW Waratahs), James Horwill (Queensland Reds), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Rocky Elsom (NSW Waratahs), George Smith (ACT Brumbies), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs).
Replacements: Adam Freier (NSW Waratahs), Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs), Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs), Phil Waugh (NSW Waratahs), Sam Cordingley (Queensland Reds), Ryan Cross (Western Force), Adam Ashley-Cooper (ACT Brumbies).
IRELAND: Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster); Shane Horgan (Boyne/Leinster), Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt), Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster), Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster); Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster), Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster); Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster), Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), John Hayes (Bruff/Munster), Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster), Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster), Shane Jennings (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Clontarf/Leinster).
Replacements: Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster), Tony Buckley (Shannon/Munster), Mick O’Driscoll (Cork Constitution/Munster), Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), Eoin Reddan (Wasps), Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster).
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Touch Judges: Chris White (England), Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)
Television Match Official: Johann Meuwesen (South Africa)
Previous Meetings: 26
Australia Won: 18; Ireland Won: 8
First Match: Ireland 3 Australia 5, Dublin, November 12, 1927
Last Match: Ireland 21 Australia 6, Dublin, November 19, 2006
Last Five Meetings: 2003 – Australia 45 Ireland 16, Perth; RWC: Australia 17 Ireland 16, Melbourne; 2005 – Ireland 14 Australia 30, Dublin; 2006 – Australia 37 Ireland 15, Perth; Ireland 21 Australia 6, Dublin
Recent Form: Australia – Won 91-3 v Japan (RWC); Won 32-20 v Wales (RWC); Won 55-12 v Fiji (RWC); Won 37-6 v Canada (RWC); Lost 12-10 v England (RWC quarter-final)
Ireland – Lost 26-21 v France (6N); Won 34-13 v Scotland (6N); Lost 16-12 v Wales (6N); Lost 33-10 v England (6N); Lost 21-11 v New Zealand (ST)
Biggest Winning Margin: Australia 36 points (46-10, Brisbane, 1999); Ireland 15 points (21-6, Dublin, 2006, and 27-12, Brisbane, 1979)
Longest Winning Streak: Australia 11 matches (1981 to 1999); Ireland 4 matches (1958 to 1968)
Best Ireland Result(s): 21-6, Dublin, 2006; 27-12, Brisbane, 1979
Total Test Points: Australia 536; Ireland 350
Highest Score: Australia: 46 in June 1999; Ireland: 27 in June 1979
Most Tries: Australia: 6 in June 2003 (45-16) and in June 1999 (46-10); Ireland: 3 in June 1999 (lost 32-26)
Leading Points Scorers (In Current Squad): Australia – Stirling Mortlock 463; Ireland – Ronan O’Gara 833
Leading Try Scorers (In Current Squad): Australia – Lote Tuqiri 26, Stirling Mortlock 25, Matt Giteau 20; Ireland – Brian O’Driscoll 31, Shane Horgan 20, Girvan Dempsey 19, Geordan Murphy 18