Genia to skipper Wallabies against USA
Will Genia will captain Australia in Friday's clash with the United States, with coach Robbie Deans opting to rest skipper James Horwill.
Already without backs Digby Ioane (thumb), James O'Connor (hamstring) and Saia Faingaa (flu), the Wallabies were forced to leave out back-rower Scott Higginbotham after he jarred his back at training on Tuesday.
With the Wallabies expected to have little trouble in seeing off the US, Deans has taken the opportunity to allow Horwill to rest up before the final group game against Russia, while flanker David Pocock (back) will also have another match off.
It means in-form scrum-half Genia will become the 78th man to lead the Wallabies into a Test match.
"It's a huge honour, a big responsibility and an occasion that I'm really looking forward to," the 23-year-old said.
"We've got a big job ahead of us. The United States showed against Ireland that they are a totally committed opponent, and our own performance against Ireland, which was not up to the high standards we set for ourselves, will only have offered the Americans further encouragement."
Deans has made six changes to the side that were shock 15-6 losers to Ireland in Auckland last weekend.
Waratahs duo Drew Mitchell and Rob Horne come into the backline in place of O'Connor and Pat McCabe respectively.
While Mitchell was on the bench against the Irish, Horne will make his first Test appearance since last year after an elbow injury curtailed his 2011 season.
Flankers Ben McCalman and Rocky Elsom, hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and tighthead prop Ben Alexander are the only forwards to keep their starting spots following the Ireland debacle.
No.8 Wycliff Palu comes off the bench to join McCalman and Elsom in the back row while James Slipper, Nathan Sharpe and Rob Simmons are also recalled to the side.
McCabe, Radike Samo, Dan Vickerman and Sekope Kepu, who all started against Ireland, have spots on the bench for the US clash alongside hooker Stephen Moore, scrum-half Luke Burgess and the versatile playmaker Berrick Barnes.
"It's our second six day turnaround in a row so we're looking to freshen things up a bit," Deans said.
"The changes in no way represent an under-estimation of Friday night's opposition."
"It's exactly the opposite. We are according the USA full respect by opting for the changes we have made in order to have a totally fresh and focused team."
With O'Connor missing out, Quade Cooper will take over the goal-kicking duties.
Wallabies: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13. Anthony Fainga'a, 12. Rob Horne, 11. Drew Mitchell, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia (c), 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Ben McCalman, 6. Rocky Elsom, 5. Nathan Sharpe, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. James Slipper.
Reserves: 16. Stephen Moore, 17. Sekope Kepu, 18. Dan Vickerman, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Luke Burgess, 21. Berrick Barnes, 22. Pat McCabe.