Australia coach Michael Cheika has changed his halfback pairing for Sunday’s crucial Rugby World Cup clash against Wales, restoring Will Genia and Bernard Foley to his starting XV.

The experienced duo replace Nic White and Christian Lealiifano, who started Australia’s opener against Fiji, having starred as the Wallabies beat New Zealand in Perth last month.

Wales XV unchanged for Australia

Genia made a big difference when he came off the bench in Sapporo, while Lealiifano took a battering from the Fijians as Australia came from behind to win.

In other backline changes, Kurtley Beale has been dropped to the bench with Dane Haylett-Petty coming in at fullback to face what is expected to be an aerial bombardment from the Six Nations champions at Tokyo Stadium.

Australia will hope the duo can improve on an unconvincing opening performance against Fiji Australia will hope the duo can improve on an unconvincing opening performance against Fiji Australia will hope the duo can improve on an unconvincing opening performance against Fiji

Adam Ashley-Cooper replaced the banned Reece Hodge on the right wing and will win his 120th cap for his country in a match that is likely to decide which of the two countries tops Pool D, and possibly avoids a quarter-final against England.

Cheika told reporters that it was up to Hodge to decide whether he wanted to appeal a three-match ban for a dangerous tackle in the Fiji match. He had 48 hours from receiving the ban on Wednesday to lodge an appeal.