Rugby Union

Michael Cheika: Ready to experiment.

Australia to hand debuts to four players against France

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There will be changes galore in the Saturday's tie between France and Australia as many as four debutants have been named in the Austrialian squad, confirmed by head coach Michael Cheika.

The 49-year-old is set to make 12 changes to the side that will take on the hosts at Stade de France in Paris.

Regarded as one of the best hookers in world rugby, Tolu Latu is among the ones set to make his first appearance, whilst prop Allan Alaalatoa, Sefa Naivalu and Luke Morahan could also make their debut.

The Wallabies made a phenomenal start to the tour with a convincing 32-8 victory over Wales and are eyeing the Grand Slam of the Home Nations, which they last won back in 1984.

Will Genia, Henry Speight and Tevita Kuridrani will retain their places in the starting lineup while skipper Stephen Moore will be named on the bench with David Pocock captaining the team.

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Other absentees include Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Reece Hodge, Sekope Kepu and Dane Haylett-Petty.

Cheika is of the opinion that it is the right moment to give the chance to the youngsters to prove their worth.

Australia Captain's Run

He said: “It is the right time to let a guy prepare as a starter. Sometimes on the finishers, it’s hard to know what you’re going to get because you don’t know when you’re going to go on, it’s hard to prepare.”

In the opposition corner, France too are set to make five significant changes, drafting in Juan-Marc Doussain as a replacement for injured Francois Trinh-Duc and Camille Lopez on the bench.

Charles Ollivon will take the place of injured flanker Loann Goujon, with Sebastien Vahaamahina is ready to start alongside Yoann Maestri after a brilliant outing against Samoa last week.

But the two sides have one common factor, that they have a set of Fijian-born wingers in their squads.

Noa Nakaitaci and Virimi Vakatawa starts for the hosts while Sefanaia Naivalu, Henry Speight and Taqele Naiyaravoro named on the Wallaby bench.

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France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Jean-Marc Doussain, 9 Maxime Machenaud; 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Charles Ollivon, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 8 Louis Picamoles.

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Julien Le Devedec, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Gael Fickou.

Australia: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Stefanaia Naivalu, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia; 1 James Slipper, 2 Tolu Latu, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Kane Douglas, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Scott Fardy, 7 David Pocock (c), 8 Sean McMahon.

Replacements (one to be omitted): 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Bernard Foley, 24 Taqele Naiyaravoro

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Topics:
England Rugby
France Rugby
Australia Rugby
Rugby Union

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