Dean Mumm
Dean Mumm will captain Australia for the very first time against Uruguay at Villa Park on Sunday Getty

After a tough opening Pool A assignment against Wales, there is simply no let-up whatsoever in minnows Uruguay's difficult 2015 World Cup schedule as they travel to Villa Park to meet the Wallabies for the very first time.

Where to watch

Australia vs Uruguay kicks off at 12pm BST on Sunday 27 September. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio Five Live.


Grouped in the dreaded 'Pool of Death' alongside hosts England and fellow heavyweights Wales, there is precious little margin for error at this stage of the tournament as far as Australia are concerned. Although Michael Cheika's side emerged victorious 28-13 in their opening fixture against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium, the main talking point from a tough, physical contest was that they failed to match their rivals in securing an early bonus point and as such now lie third in the table.

Apparently unconcerned by that, the two-time world champions have dramatically altered their team with 14 changes for this one – the most made by any team so far. Scott Sio, the Brumbies prop, is the only man to retain his starting jersey in a new-look front row that includes Tatafu Polota-Nau and the uncapped Toby Smith. Lock Dean Mumm captains his country for the first time alongside New-Zealand born Will Skelton, while Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon and Wycliff Palu complete the pack.

In the backs, Nick Phipps is paired with Quade Cooper and Cheika has opted for a partnership of Matt Toomua and Henry Speight in midfield. Toulon's Drew Mitchell is selected on the left wing opposite Joe Tomane and the outspoken Kurtley Beale comes in at full-back.

The draw may not have been kind to Uruguay, but the tournament's second lowest-ranked team – World Rugby currently place them 19th, one place above Namibia and 17 below their next opponents – but it is obvious that a squad made up predominantly of amateur players and a smattering of professionals earning their crust in the French lower divisions are relishing the experience.

The Teros were certainly not lacking in commitment or passion in their 54-9 defeat to Wales in Cardiff and forced a few early penalties that were duly converted by fly-half Felipe Berchesi.

Head coach Pablo Lemoine, a former prop with 48 international caps to his name, has shuffled his deck up-front in a bid to slow the Wallabies. Juan Manuel Gaminara has been moved from flanker to number eight as Juan de Freitas replaces Alejandro Nieto and Franco Lamanna starts in the second row instead of Jorge Zerbino.

The two other changes among the forwards are in the front row, where 21-year-old hooker German Kessler and Mateo Sanguinetti are in for Carlos Arboleya and Alejo Corral. There is also one switch on the wing as Leandro Leivas is preferred to Santiago Gibernau.


Australia: 15. Beale, 14. Tomane, 13. Speight, 12. Toomua, 11. Mitchell, 10. Cooper, 9. Phipps, 8. Palu, 7. McMahon, 6. McCalman, 5. Skelton, 4. Mumm (c), 3. Smith, 2. Polota-Nau, 1. Sio

Replacements: 16. Moore, 17. Kepu, 18. Holmes, 19. Douglas, 20. Simmons, 21. Genia, 22. Foley, 23. Kuridrani

Uruguay: 15. Mieres, 14. Leivas, 13. Prada, 12. Vilaseca, 11. Silva, 10. Berchesi, 9. Ormaechea, 8. Gaminara, 7. Beer, 6. De Freitas, 5. Lamanna, 4. Vilaseca (c), 3. Sagario, 2. Kessler, 1. Sanguinetti

Replacements: 16. Klappenbach, 17. O Duran, 18. Arboleya, 19. Nieto, 20. Magno, 21. Bascou, 22. A Duran, 23. Roman

What the coaches say

Michael Cheika: "We really want the entire squad to get a touch of the ball early at this Rugby World Cup and get everyone into match mode. We will need all 31 players ready for action throughout the tournament, and this is the first chance to do that for many of this team. We've had a solid preparation for this match considering that we've had to play two games in five days and we're very happy with where the players are at. It's important we continue to improve each day as a collective."

Pablo Lemoine: "'Some countries have much better players, they are bigger and they have more money. But we have beaten them because we are stronger inside. We feel that connection to our country and we have had to fight for everything.

"Football is the same in Uruguay. Unlike in Europe, we have a poor league, the facilities are limited and players start with nothing. And yet they can compete at the World Cup and players like Luis Suarez are at some of the world's biggest clubs. That's because they play with their hearts and work so hard for their families and country."

Michael Cheika
Michael Cheika is eager to make use of his full squad prior to Australia's meeting with England on 3 October. (Getty)

Other fixtures

The first of three matches to take place on Sunday, Australia vs Uruguay is followed by Scotland's meeting with the United States at Elland Road and the Pool D clash between Ireland and Romania at Wembley.