Michael Cheika believes Australia's poor recent record against England is "irrelevant" and says he has no issue with Eddie Jones ahead of a blockbuster Rugby World Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

The Wallabies have lost six consecutive matches against England since knocking them out of the last World Cup.

England are favourites to win the last-eight showdown at Oita Stadium this weekend, but Australia head coach Cheika has backed his players to defy the odds.

"Call me a sucker. I believe in my lads," Cheika said on Monday. "I know there's other people who won't give us much of a chance, but I believe that when you believe in yourself you are much closer to being able to create history."

Asked about England's recent dominance of his side, he added: "I think it's irrelevant, really. There are reasons, I'm not trying to avoid it, but why go back and talk about all those games?

"I talked about those games in those press conferences after those games. Looking backwards is only going to give you a sore neck."

Cheika and Jones have never needed much encouragement to exchange jibes, but the Australia boss denied they have a frosty relationship.

"I don't see him very much. Yeah fine, it's all good," said Cheika.

Cheika also refused to shed any light on his plans after the tournament.

He told an English journalist: "I know you don't know me very well but I'm only thinking about today. I'm genuine.

"Actually, you'd get on pretty well with my missus, she's always asking what's going on tomorrow or next week or the week after. I never tell her because I want to enjoy today."

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh could face an injury layoff after hitting a changing room wall following his dismissal in Western Australia's Sheffield Shield draw with Tasmania.

The Western Australia captain damaged his right hand on his return to the pavilion after he was caught and bowled by Jackson Bird for 53 at the WACA on Sunday.

Marsh, recalled for Australia's defeat to England in the final Ashes Test at The Oval last month, must wait to discover the extent of the damage inflicted on himself during the first Shield match of the season.

"Marsh sustained the injury when he struck the wall in the changerooms following his dismissal earlier in the day," a statement on the Western Australian Cricket Association website said.

"The extent of the injury and a timeframe on his return will be determined later this week after further investigation."

Australia start a two-match Test series against Pakistan at the Gabba on November 21.

Tim Paine ended a 13-year wait for a second first-class century in Tasmania's Sheffield Shield opener against Western Australia on Saturday.

The Australia Test captain had failed to reach three figures in a first-class match since making 215 in a Pura Cup clash with Western Australia at the WACA Ground back in 2006.

Paine ended his drought against the same opponents on day three, top scoring with 121 in Tasmania's 397 all out.

The wicketkeeper-batsman downplayed his contribution with the bat, stating "it means nothing to me."

Western Australia were 148-2 in their second innings at stumps with a lead of 88, brother Shaun and Mitchell Marsh unbeaten on 74 and 51 respectively.

Michael Cheika is hopeful Kurtley Beale will be fit for Australia's Rugby World Cup quarter-final after he suffered a head injury in the 27-8 win over Georgia on Friday.

Beale was withdrawn after only 13 minutes of the Wallabies' final Pool D match at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa due to a blow suffered in a tackle.

The full-back did not return after undergoing a head injury assessment, but Cheika is optimistic he did not do serious damage ahead of a last-eight encounter which will most likely be against England next Saturday.

"We'll go through the return to play protocols, we've got an eight-day turnaround so plenty of time for all that," said head coach Cheika.

"He's feeling good in the dressing room right now so that's good, we'll just take it as it comes."

Australia made hard work of securing a bonus-point win in testing conditions due to driving rain and wind, Jack Dempsey and Will Genia scoring late tries after Nic White grabbed the only five-pointer of the first half before a superb solo effort from Marika Koroibete.

Cheika warned his side they must be more clinical if they are to having any chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

"We're the lowest kicking team in international rugby, we like to keep the ball in hand, we knew the conditions were going to be tricky and I think we did drop a bit too much ball," he added

"We carried a bit too much ball on our chest and in the conditions that's going to happen and you are going to get more ball slipping out, it's not like they were clean drops.

"But I believe our carrying was strong, we just didn't have the finishing touch on a lot of stuff. So we'll definitely need to put that on and we'll be ready to take the opportunities next week."

Australia will face France in the last eight if Uruguay claim an unlikely victory over Wales on Sunday.

Marika Koroibete scored a magnificent solo try as Australia beat battling Georgia 27-8 on a miserable Friday at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa in their final Pool D match.

Another much-changed Wallabies side - already assured of a quarter-final spot - lacked fluency in the wind and driving rain but sealed a bonus-point victory that put them top above Wales.

Nic White claimed the only try of the first half and Koroibete helped himself to a brilliant individual score in the second before Jack Dempsey and Will Genia dotted down late on, while the other Australia points came from the boot of Matt Toomua.

Alexander Todua's try 10 minutes from time gave Georgia hope, but they were unable to pull off a first win over tier one opposition under Milton Haig in the coach's final game in charge.

Kurtley Beale was replaced by Dane Haylett-Petty only 13 minutes in after taking a blow to the head in a tackle and Georgia defended magnificently as Australia went through the phases scenting an opening try.

White found a way through when he dropped a shoulder and touched down from the base of a ruck after 23 minutes, with Toomua adding the extras, but Soso Matiashvili got Georgia on the board from the tee.

The Wallabies lost number eight Isi Naisarani to the sin bin for catching Giorgi Nemsadze with a swinging arm before Toomua's penalty gave them a 10-3 lead at the break.

There was a lengthy delay while Georgia scrum-half Gela Aprasidze was treated before being carted off with what appeared to be a neck injury after a scrappy start to the second half.

Koroibete produced the moment of magic that the game had been lacking, going solo with nimble footwork after picking a loose ball to race away for a stunning effort on the hour mark.

Georgia had a try out of the blue when Todua sped away after a break from Jaba Bregvadze, but Matiashvili pulled the conversion attempt wide and Dempsey claimed his first Test try when the underdogs failed to stop a driving maul following a line-out.

Genia added further gloss when he burst from midfield to take a pass from Taniela Tupou and cross for a fourth try, Toomua failing to convert for a second time with the rain still lashing down.

Jamie Maclaren savoured the proudest moment of his career after hitting a hat-trick in Australia's straightforward 5-0 win over Nepal in World Cup qualifying.

The Melbourne City striker translated his club form to the international stage as he struck twice in the opening 19 minutes in Canberra to set the Socceroos on course for a second successive victory on the road to Qatar 2022.

Maclaren, 26, completed the scoring with a well-taken third in the 90th minute, improving his record for Australia to four goals in 14 appearances following a lean start in the green and gold.

Critics had questioned his ability to build on a fine A-League record but Thursday's treble in the nation's capital, albeit against limited opposition, vindicated his inner confidence.

"My proudest moment in a football jersey," Maclaren told Fox Sports after the match.

"Representing my country in Canberra, scoring a hat-trick, as a striker it's the best feeling.

"I owe a lot to my team-mates and the manager for putting faith in me. At times you question whether you're good enough at this level and I feel I am. I believed through those tough years."

Though he claimed the match ball, Maclaren was forced to share the limelight at GIO Stadium with a fellow former Scotland youth international.

Aberdeen-born Harry Souttar changed his allegiance to his mother's homeland earlier this year and enjoyed a debut to remember, scoring a headed double either side of half-time.

The towering centre-back, who is on loan at Fleetwood Town from Stoke City, only stepped foot in Australia for the first time this week but has impressed head coach Graham Arnold.

"He's just such a great kid," Arnold said of Souttar, the brother of Hearts defender and full Scotland international John Souttar.

"Let's see him against a bigger team and a better team defensive-wise because when I see him at Fleetwood Town he's doing exceptionally well.

"There's a little bit of competition there with him. He's so calm on the ball and he's so relaxed. He's a great find for us."

Australia's next Group B game in the second phase of the Asian Football Confederation qualifying route is against Chinese Taipei in Kaohsiung on Tuesday.

Harry Souttar marked his international debut with a brace and Jamie Maclaren notched a hat-trick as Australia settled for a 5-0 win over minnows Nepal in World Cup qualifying.

Born in Aberdeen, defender Souttar changed his allegiance to his mother's homeland earlier this year and enjoyed a first appearance to savour at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

The Fleetwood Town centre-back repaid Graham Arnold's faith with a headed double after a pair of early finishes from Maclaren, who completed the scoring and his treble in the closing moments.

Australia's apparent reluctance to overexert themselves meant the expected avalanche of goals never truly arrived, though the Socceroos did move top of Group B, at least until Kuwait meet Jordan later on Thursday.

Kiran Chemjong's failure to grasp a Craig Goodwin shot gifted Maclaren the sixth-minute opener and the striker quickly doubled his tally, heading home after Rhyan Grant nodded Aziz Behich's cross back into the danger zone.

The towering Souttar was proving a nuisance at set-pieces and managed to stoop to meet Goodwin's corner for Australia's third in the 23rd minute.

A fourth would have followed on the stroke of half-time if not for the match officials, who disallowed a deflected Mathew Leckie effort for offside despite Ananta Tamang being responsible for the touch that deceived goalkeeper Chemjong.

There was no denying Souttar a double, though, as his 59th-minute header from Aaron Mooy's cross dribbled in off Dinesh Rajbanshi.

Arnold turned to his bench after the hour but no other Australian was able to add their name to the scoresheet against the world's 161st-ranked nation, leaving Maclaren to claim the matchball as he fired home in the 90th minute following Jackson Irvine's cushioned control.

What does it mean? Socceroos miss chance to further bolster goal difference

Kuwait, the team Australia brushed aside 3-0 last month, began the road to Qatar by putting seven past Nepal, so there were expectations for the Socceroos to fill their boots in the nation's capital.

The long distances many of Arnold's players covered en route to Australia can be considered a mitigating factor but the former Sydney FC boss will expect a greater degree of ruthlessness against Chinese Taipei next week, particularly as his team have gone goalless in four of eight games in 2019.

Maclaren makes case for more minutes

One man who did his job in attack was Melbourne City forward Maclaren.

Prolific at A-League level, he has found goals harder to come by in the international arena but can be pleased to have added three more to the one he notched at the Asian Cup in January.

Goals elude Goodwin

Unlike Maclaren, Saudi Arabia-based Goodwin let opportunities go begging too frequently.

The 27-year-old attempted five shots without scoring, a return that needs to improve if he is to be in contention for a starting berth on a more regular basis.

What's next?

Australia travel to Kaohsiung to meet bottom-placed Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, the same day as Nepal’s difficult date with Jordan in Amman.

Maybe Steve Smith is human after all? He proved England's nemesis throughout the Ashes, but Australia's talisman suffered a rare failure at the crease in a Sheffield Shield match on Thursday.

Making his first appearance in the Shield since leading the way with 774 runs as Australia retained the Ashes, Smith was dismissed for a duck at the Gabba in New South Wales' encounter with Queensland.

Coming in at 12-1 to partner David Warner, who endured an altogether different series in England, Smith was sent back to the pavilion without scoring from five balls when he flashed at a Cameron Gannon delivery.

Gannon dropped short and wide of off-stump but Smith failed to capitalise, sending an edge to Joe Burns at second slip.

It left New South Wales 14-2, with Moises Henriques losing his wicket two overs later having also failed to trouble the scorers.

With assistance from Nick Larkin, Warner (27 not out) managed to steady the ship and New South Wales ended day one on 50-3, 103 runs shy of Queensland's 153 all out.

Dane Haylett-Petty has backed Michael Cheika's approach of chopping and changing at the Rugby World Cup ahead of Australia's final Pool D match against Georgia on Friday.

Cheika has rotated his squad in Japan, having made far few alterations during the last World Cup in England four years ago.

The Wallabies head coach has made 10 changes to the starting line-up for the encounter with Georgia at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, which the two-time champions will start knowing they are already through to the quarter-finals.

Haylett-Petty says Cheika's selections are keeping the players on their toes as Australia prepare to face either England or France in the last eight.

The full-back said: "Cheik has, on purpose, picked a squad that's really competitive, and while we're really pushing each other to get better, we've been fighting for spots the whole way along

"He definitely picked and stuck a bit more in the past but that’s the strategy he's gone with and I do think it's working well.

"You've seen players given an opportunity and take that opportunity."

David Pocock will captain the side as Michael Hooper drops to the bench, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To'omua, Kurtley Beale and Jordan Petaia retaining their places following a 45-10 thumping of Uruguay.

Australia look set to finish second behind Wales, who face Uruguay on Sunday.

For Georgia, scrum-half Gela Aprasidze replaces Vasil Lobzhanidze, while Beka Saginadze comes into the back row at the expense of Giorgi Tkhilaishvili following their 45-10 hammering at the hands of Fiji.

Georgia are second-bottom with just the one win in the tournament against Uruguay.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Australia - Matt To'omua

Toomua impressed after coming off the bench in the loss to Wales and made an impact from the start in the big win over Uruguay. He will switch from centre to fly-half and can pull the strings at number 10.

Georgia - Mamuka Gorgodze

Gorgodze will play his 15th World Cup match for Georgia, matching a record held by Merab Kvirikashvili. The veteran lock must prove he can still be a talisman in what could be his last appearance for his country. 

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This will be the first time Australia and Georgia have met in Test rugby.

- Georgia have alternated between victory and defeat in their last five World Cup matches - winning two and losing three.

- Australia have won all 18 of their World Cup matches against non-tier one nations, their average margin of victory in those games a mammoth 46 points.

- Georgia have scored their most points (57) and tries (eight) in a World Cup campaign, their previous records were 53 points (2015) and five tries (2007 and 2015 respectively).

Michael Cheika has been working on ways for Australia to limit the number of penalties they are conceding at the Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies comfortably defeated Uruguay 45-10 on Saturday but saw Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shown yellow cards for high tackles in the first half.

Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale were also penalised by referee Mathieu Reynal in Oita, while wing Reece Hodge missed the match due to a three-game ban for a reckless challenge on Peceli Yato in their Pool D opener against Fiji.

Australia conceded 12 penalties to Uruguay's five at the weekend. Cheika was unwilling to discuss the team's tackling technique after the match but has looked to address their discipline ahead of Friday's meeting with Georgia.

"We're addressing that, we've got some ideas on how we can be better at that," said the Wallabies boss.

"No matter how you see the picture, the penalties are real. So, you've got to do something because whether it's truth or perception, we're getting the arm raised against us and losing players to the bin for things that we shouldn't be.

"We've just got to lift our standards there, it's as simple as that."

Cheika has made 10 changes from the team that defeated Uruguay, with Hooper granted some rest with a place among the replacements.

David Pocock will captain the Wallabies in Shizuoka instead of Hooper and the coach thinks the competition for places is proving extremely beneficial.

Cheika said: "I know that different teams have different strategies in how they want to approach it.

"Some want to go with the same players all the time and maybe rest out. We feel like keeping players competing for spots is working for us, I think we're playing some good footy.

"Here's another chance for other guys to do the same, guys that didn't play in the last game. I think that [Georgia] are a very improved opposition. It's the first time Australia is ever going to play them, I think.

"We're lucky that we have someone like David Pocock who can come in for Hooper. We're trying to get a balance of opportunity, workload and also being ready to win the game. That is the number one priority at the end of the day."

Australia coach Michael Cheika has made 10 changes for the Wallabies' final Rugby World Cup Pool D fixture against Georgia on Friday.

Cheika's side could already be assured of a place in the quarter-finals if Fiji do not beat Wales on Wednesday, though the Wallabies will likely need a victory to stand a chance of securing first place and avoiding a potential tie with England in the last eight.

Five players have retained their place from the 45-10 win over Uruguay last time out, with captain Michael Hooper handed a rest, though he could come on from the bench to make his 99th Test appearance.

David Pocock will captain the Wallabies in Shizuoka, with Jack Dempsey, Nic White, Matt To'omua, Kurtley Beale and Jordan Petaia staying in the team.

To'omua, who played at 12 against Uruguay, will feature at fly-half, becoming the third different player to start at 10 for Australia in the last three matches, as Bernard Foley - who started in the position against Wales - again misses out.

Wing Petaia became the youngest player to feature in a World Cup for the Wallabies when he made his Test debut against Uruguay, though the 19-year-old has been shifted to the right, with Marika Koroibete coming in on the opposite flank.

Tevita Kuridrani scored twice last time out, but there is no room for him in the 23-man squad for Australia's first competitive match against Georgia.

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Jordan Petaia, James O'Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Matt To'omua, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Sekope Kepu, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Jack Dempsey, David Pocock, Isi Naisarani.

Replacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Michael Hooper, Will Genia, Christian Lealiifano, Dane Haylett-Petty.

Michael Cheika was unwilling to discuss high tackling by Australia after their 45-10 victory over Uruguay in Oita on Saturday.

A routine Pool D success for the Wallabies came despite first-half yellow cards for Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, while Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale were also penalised by referee Mathieu Raynal.

Tackling issues have been prevalent during Australia's campaign, with Reece Hodge handed a three-game ban for his challenge on Fiji's Peceli Yato in their opening match.

The Wallabies wing stated he had "no knowledge" of the new tackling framework after he was cited for the hit, which World Rugby said "was of some general concern" when dishing out the suspension.

Cheika was angered by the decision and that criticism and was unwilling to tread similar ground after Australia's meeting with Uruguay led to questions on tackling resurfacing.

"I think maybe we can talk about something else to be honest," said Cheika, who discussed the fact Australia conceded 12 penalties to Uruguay's five.

"We're just giving away too many penalties, full stop, no matter what it's for, you can't be winning the game by 45 and still lose the penalty count.

"One was for kicking the ball out of a ruck. That's a penalty and we know that. We have to tidy that up.

"But I'm not going to talk about tackles. I'm going to steer clear of that."

Dane Haylett-Petty and Tevita Kuridrani touched down either side of a try from 19-year-old debutant Jordan Petaia in the first half.

Haylett-Petty and Kuridrani went over again in the second period, with Will Genia and James Slipper also getting on the board in a bonus-point triumph.

Jordan Petaia enjoyed a memorable debut as Australia bounced back from their loss to Wales with a 45-10 victory over Uruguay at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.

The Wallabies could not afford a slip-up after going down to Wales in last week's Pool D blockbuster, and Australia returned to winning ways thanks to a bonus-point triumph.

Australia teenager Petaia capped his long-awaited international bow with a try as the Wallabies crossed seven times to one against a spirited Uruguay team in Oita.

The Wallabies – who made 12 changes for the match before James O'Connor was replaced by Samu Kerevi on the bench prior to kick-off – started fast, despite some desperate Uruguay defending.

Australia made the breakthrough in the sixth minute, with Kurtley Beale feeding Dane Haylett-Petty for an easy five-pointer in open space as Christian Lealiifano added the extras.

The Wallabies did not have it all their own way in the first half following two yellow cards, however, Australia appeared to play better with a man less on the field.

After Felipe Berchesi's penalty conversion and Adam Coleman's high tackle, Petaia burst through for a memorable try in the 24th minute – Beale's quick hands allowing the teenager to cross, with Lealiifano making no mistake in splitting the uprights.

Lukhan Salakaia-Loto also found himself in the sin bin approaching the half-hour mark but Tevita Kuridrani sprinted clear to put Australia 19-3 ahead after Petaia fended off two players before teeing up his team-mate.

It could have been 19-10 at half-time but Tomas Inciarte's try was chalked off by TMO for offside after Uruguay had celebrated and lined up for the conversion.

Kuridrani scored his second try of the match to claim the bonus point, streaking clear after collecting the ball in the middle of the field six minutes into the second half.

Will Genia came off the bench to make it 31-3 to Australia eight minutes later, with Lealiifano adding the two points, before James Slipper barged his way over to end his wait for a Test try and Haylett-Petty claimed a double 12 minutes from time.

Uruguay's hard-fought display was rewarded with a with a try at the death – Manuel Diana capping a relentless spell of pressure and 18 phases.

 

A star is born

Petaia's debut was worth the wait. The Reds sensation – the youngest player to represent Australia at a World Cup – scored his first international try with his second touch of the match. Petaia also had a try assist in an impressive first half.

Slipper ends drought

Earning his 94th cap, Slipper had plenty to celebrate. The 30-year-old, who debuted in 2010, finally scored a try for the Wallabies as he was mobbed by his team-mates and given and a standing ovation by Australia's coaching staff.

What's next?

Australia will wrap up their group-stage campaign with a clash against Georgia in Fukuroi on October 11 before Uruguay meet Wales in Kumamoto two days later.

Trent Sainsbury has been left out of Australia's squad for World Cup qualifiers against Nepal and Chinese Taipei due to injury as captain Mark Milligan returns.

Maccabi Haifa defender Sainsbury, 27, is managing a "minor injury", ruling him out of the Group B clashes.

Australia started the second round of qualifying with a 3-0 win over Kuwait and are boosted by the return of Milligan.

"Our group did very well in their first qualifier away from home, so I am pleased to be able [to] maintain significant consistency within the squad as we seek to build upon our strong start to qualifying for Qatar," Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold said.

"Trent is managing a minor injury but remains on standby for the squad should we need to call him in. Bailey [Wright] is a big part of our plans and a great player and person to have in the squad, so we are pleased that he will be with us this month.

"Many of the players in our squad for this window have impressed with their clubs since our win in Kuwait, so we are confident that they will arrive ready to put on great performances both home and away."

The Socceroos face Nepal in Canberra on Thursday before taking on Chinese Taipei in Kaohsiung five days later.

Meanwhile, Sydney FC duo Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne and Melbourne City forward Jamie Maclaren will miss the opening round of the A-League, their sides facing Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory respectively.

Australia: Mitchell Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC), Mat Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion); Aziz Behich (Istanbul Basaksehir), Milos Degenek (Red Star Belgrade), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC), Brad Smith (Seattle Sounders), Harry Souttar (Fleetwood Town), Bailey Wright (Bristol City); Mustafa Amini (AGF Aarhus), Ajdin Hrustic (Groningen), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), James Jeggo (Austria Vienna), Massimo Luongo (Sheffield Wednesday), Mark Milligan (Southend United), Aaron Mooy (Brighton and Hove Albion); Brandon Borrello (Freiburg), Apostolos Giannou (AEK Larnaca), Craig Goodwin (Al-Wehda), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Awer Mabil (Midtjylland), Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City), Adam Taggart (Suwon Bluewings).

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