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Updated: October 21, 2011 00:17 IST

Sharpe to win his 100th cap

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Australia lock Nathan Sharpe will win his 100th Test cap in Friday's rugby World Cup third-place play-off after being named in the starting line-up on Wednesday.

Australia coach Robbie Deans brought the 33-year-old lock, who made his debut against France in 2002, back into the side after leaving him out for the semifinal defeat to New Zealand.

Deans has overhauled the team that was humbled by the All Blacks at Eden Park last weekend with an entirely new front row and two thirds of his back row also changed.

Kurtley Beale returns at fullback after missing last weekend's match with a hamstring problem, while Berrick Barnes replaces Pat McCabe at inside centre.

Injury list

Four of the changes were enforced by injuries to McCabe (shoulder), lock Dan Vickerman (shoulder, leg and nose), prop Sekope Kepu (eye) and hooker Stephen Moore (sternum).

Deans decided to drop prop Ben Alexander to the bench to “lighten his load” after an arduous international season, while flanker and former captain Rocky Elsom was left out of the squad altogether.

Ben McCalman takes over at No. 8 with Radike Samo on the bench and Scott Higginbotham playing on the blindside flank in place of Elsom.

In the front row, Salesi Ma'afu gets his first start of the tournament at tight head prop alongside hooker Tatafu Polota-Nauand James Slipper, who both came off the bench against New Zealand.

Fifth Australian

Sharpe will be the fifth Australian to record a century of caps after David Campese, George Gregan, Stephen Larkham and George Smith.

Australia lost its only previous World Cup third-place play-off at the inaugural 1987 tournament, going down 22-21 to the Welsh at Rotorua.

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