Baxter inclusion huge boost to 'A' team

The selection of Qantas Wallaby Alastair Baxter headlines a number of forward changes to the Australia A side to take on Samoa at BCU International Stadium on Saturday.

Baxter arrived at Camp Wallaby from Brisbane late on Tuesday and will line up at tight head prop after recovering from a bout of bronchitis that forced his withdrawal from last Saturday's first Test against Wales.

Joining Baxter in a new-look forward pack is lock Adam Wallace-Harrison and flankers David Pusey and Julian Salvi.

Wallace-Harrison replaces Will Caldwell in the second row while Pusey comes in for Dean Mumm at blindside flanker.

Salvi has been included in place of young openside David Pocock.

Selectors have stuck with the same backline that contributed seven of Australia A's eight tries against Tonga.

Australia A head coach Laurie Fisher said the team as selected retains a good balance despite the changes up front.

"Samoa will be a tough opponent and the team that we've got this week will be up for the challenge," he said.

"Having access to a player of Al Baxter's calibre is certainly a bonus while the rest of the pack loses nothing as a result of the changes that have been made.

"Guys are competing for positions and there's been very little between them since the team came into camp.

"You're always going to get a boost out of working together in such close quarters and I think the performance against Tonga and on the training park this week has been encouraging ahead of the Samoa match."



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