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Sunday 11 December 2016

Sio back to boost Wallabies for tomorrow's Rugby World Cup final

Rugby Union - Australia v Fiji - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 23/9/15
Australia's Stephen Moore and Scott Sio line up for the national anthems before the game
Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs
Livepic
Rugby Union - Australia v Fiji - IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A - Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales - 23/9/15 Australia's Stephen Moore and Scott Sio line up for the national anthems before the game Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic

Loosehead prop Scott Sio will return to the Wallabies starting lineup for tomorrow's Rugby World Cup final against New Zealand after recovering from an elbow injury.

Sio, one of the key players in the Australian scrum, missed last weekend's semi-final win over Argentina after hurting his elbow a week earlier against Scotland.

But, in a major boost to the Wallabies' chances of winning, Sio has been cleared to make his return for the final at Twickenham in the only change to the starting side that scored four unanswered tries to beat the Pumas 29-15.

James Slipper, who filled in for Sio, returns to the bench.

Fullback Israel Folau, who has been battling an ankle injury and only lasted an hour against Argentina, was also cleared to play, as was veteran inside centre Matt Giteau, who hurt his groin playing against the Pumas.

Head coach Michael Cheika said the team's final preparations have focussed on some specific smaller areas that he wanted to perfect before they face the All Blacks.

"This week we've had a strong focus on improving certain areas in our game where we feel we haven't been at our best in the previous matches" he said.

"We still have lots of scope to improve and we'll work on that before this next match against New Zealand."

AUSTRALIA: I Folau; D Mitchell, M Giteau, T Kuridrani, A Ashley-Cooper; B Foley, W Genia; S Sio, S Moore (capt), S Kepu, K Douglas, R Simmons, S Fardy, M Hooper, D Pocock. Replacements: T Polota-Nau, J Slipper, G Holmes, D Mumm, B McCalman, N Phipps, M Toomua, K Beale.

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