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Unchanged Wallabies side a show of confidence, says Deans

Tight-head prop Sekope Kepu is the only injury worry for the Wallabies.

Tight-head prop Sekope Kepu is the only injury worry for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Deans has banked on a repeat of recent history and named an unchanged starting line-up for the Wallabies' second Test against Wales in Melbourne this weekend.

Waratahs prop Sekope Kepu has been named at tight head despite being under an injury cloud with a strained forearm tendon.

Deans said Kepu would play if deemed fit but the squad had back-up in Ben Alexander and others.

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International team of the week - june 10

Paul Cully selects the form team from the weekend Tests. Photo: AFP

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

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

Kepu will line up with Waratahs' teammates Tatafu Polota-Nau and Benn Robinson in the front row, while the rest of the forwards and the backs are also unchanged.

Deans said the same selection was a show of confidence in the side's performance but he warned it did not mean the same effort would be good enough against the Six Nations champions.

"[Wales] showed during their Six Nations campaign that they are resilient - twice winning games in final moments," he said.

"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."

Rebels winger Cooper Vuna, a late squad entrant after Joe Tomane fell to injury, has been named again on the right wing with Digby Ioane - a stand out performer last week - on the left.

Vuna's Melbourne teammate Kurtley Beale, who has trained all week with the squad, was not considered for selection.

Deans named a four-three split on the bench, with Stephen Moore, Alexander, Dave Dennis and Michael Hooper providing back up for the forwards and Nic White, Anthony Fainga'a and Mike Harris on standby for the backs.

AUSTRALIA: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Cooper Vuna, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane, Berrick Barnes, Will Genia, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota Nau, Benn Robinson.

Reserves: Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Dave Dennis, Michael Hooper, Nic White, Anthony Fainga'a, Mike Harris.

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Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
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Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
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RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
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Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
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RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
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