| 2.8°C Dublin

Speight makes debut as Folau starts with Beale on the bench

Coach Michael Cheika has made four changes to the side which went down so narrowly to France

Powerhouse wing Henry Speight will make his debut as second row Sam Carter, flanker Luke Jones and centre Matt Toomua are also pushed into the firing line.

"All four changes will bring a new energy into the team and I know everyone is looking forward to the opportunities our match against Ireland will bring," said Cheika this morning.

"Henry has done all the right things to earn his selection, has had an outstanding Super Rugby season and deserves his opportunity to play for Australia.

"He is very passionate about representing Australia and we're all looking forward to seeing him bring his best attributes to our game.

"The other changes have been made to give the other players who have been knocking on the door an opportunity to start a Test match on this tour."

Thankfully, the former Leinster boss has resisted the urge to rest Israel Folau and brings the controversial Kurtley Beale back to bench duty where he will have Will Genia and Quade Cooper for company.

Three-code sports sensation Folau is, arguably, the biggest draw in world rugby. His height, strength, dexterity and silky skills will have Ireland's defence coach Les Kiss on his toes.


Cheika won't have pulled the wool over Irish eyes by putting Cooper and Genia up for press engagements earlier this week to fuel speculation that they may be brought in from the cold.

The pairing of Tevita Kurdrani and Matt Toomua in the centre brings a physical edge with half-backs Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps bang in form.

Australia have not lost back-to-back internationals on their November tour since 2005 and they don't intend to start on Saturday.

Whatever about South Africa, this is definitely a dry-run before the 2015 World Cup for The Wallabies in what is a five-match tour.

They have been able to subdue The Barbarians (40-36) and Wales (33-28) and they came oh-so-close to coming from behind against the French (29-26).

In the time, Australia have shown a stiffening resolve during the scrum, on occasion exerting surprisingly severe pressure on France, especially in the first half.

Australia (v Ireland): I Folau; A Ashley-Cooper, T Kuridrani, M Toomua, H Speight; B Foley, N Phipps; J Slipper, S Fainga'a, S Kepu, S Carter, R Simmons, L Jones, M Hooper, B McCalman.