Australia are the hosts country for Wallabies vs France live rugby second of three Tests match on Saturday, June 14 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. Wallabies vs France match kicks off at 8.00pm (AEST).
This weeks game should be an entirely different affair to the 50-23 drubbing the French received from the Wallabies in Brisbane.
The Wallabies performance against the French spoke more of a poor, unstructured Les Bleus team than a world-beating Wallabies display.
In typical French fashion, coach Phillippe Saint-Andre has axed 10 players from last weekend’s starting side and brought in the likes of giant centre Mathieu Bastareaud and fullback Brice Dulin after they were rested last week due to their late arrival following the Top 14 final.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has made three forced changes to his starting forward pack. Skipper Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter and No.8 Wycliff Palu (ankle) are all out with injuries suffered last weekend.
Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Horwill and Ben McCalman have all been promoted. Rebels trio Scott Higginbotham, Laurie Weeks and Luke Jones come onto the bench, with Jones in line to make his Test debut.
The French, with all their mystery and flair, can at least be counted on the bounce back.
As was evident when in the 2011 World Cup semi-final against Wales where they were terrible but somehow managed to win that game. They came out the following week and were superb, despite losing the final to the All Blacks.
The fact is you never know what you’re going to get from the French from one game to the next.
Australian coach Ewen McKenzie has had a good look at the section changes made by his counter-part and believes he has spotted their game-plan.
“I think that they’ll look to be more direct. If you pick guys like (centre Mathieu) Bastareaud and (No.8 Louis) Picamoles you’re going to get a fairly direct approach,” said McKenzie.
“They’re robust and good at denting the line, good at bending the line.
“So there’s two guys there, one in the forwards, one in the backs, who can do that, so that might suggest a different set of tactics.”
While McKenzie is clear in his non complacency, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre is determined in his teams ability to fight back.
“We were all ashamed, whether it was the staff or the players,” said Saint-Andre.
“Going down by 27 points is never pleasant.
“There have been talks, videos, recovery because that game left physical and mental scars.
“We have prepared ourselves for a big game, a big fight.”
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Pat McCabe.
France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini.
Subs: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Bernard le Roux, 20 Louis Picamoles, 21 Antoine Burban, 22 Frédéric Michalak, 23 Remi Lamerat.