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What are the teams for France v Australia?

What are the teams for France v Australia?

Taniela Tupou France

Grand Slam champions France kick off their Autumn Nations Series campaign in Paris on Saturday against an Australia team that is riding high.

Les Bleus have won ten Tests in a row, with their last defeat coming against the Wallabies on their 2021 tour Down Under, but Fabien Galthié is missing a few key players for this clash.

Second row Paul Willemse was the latest player to be ruled out, suffering a knee injury in training that will keep him out for a fortnight, while François Cros, Gabin Villière and Melvyn Jaminet are also absent through injury.

It is still a strong side that will be led by Antoine Dupont though, the French skipper preparing to take on the Wallabies for the first time.

Dave Rennie, meanwhile, has had to deal with a couple of injuries of his own, notably Allan Alaalatoa missing out at tighthead prop, but welcomes the power of France-based lock Will Skelton onto the bench.

And after a hard-fought 16-15 win in Edinburgh last weekend, the Wallabies will be looking for another win to add to their collection.

Baille back ahead of schedule for France

The expectation was that France would be without a few key contributors this November, notably loosehead prop Cyril Baille who underwent surgery in the off-season.

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The Toulouse player made his first appearance of the campaign last weekend, coming off the bench, and did enough to convince Galthié and his coaching staff that he is ready to go from the off in Paris.

The main talking point in the front five is the absence of Willemse, and it is noticeable that France have not gone like-for-like with his replacement. Instead, Thibaud Flament, a standout performer on France’s tour of Japan, gets the nod alongside Cameron Woki, with Romain Taofifenua and Killian Géraci both named on the bench.

In the back row, with Cros out, there is no selection headache for Galthié, Charles Ollivon named alongside Anthony Jelonch and Grégory Alldritt.

Antoine Dupont France

However it is Dupont who keeps the captaincy, and he will link up with Romain Ntamack, despite the latter having not played since early September.

Jonathan Danty joins Gaël Fickou in the midfield, although with his partner due to give birth any day now, there was some uncertainty over his spot. With Villière out, Yoram Moefana shifts to the wing, while Thomas Ramos takes the place of club colleague Jaminet both at full-back and with kicking duties.

On the bench, the only other surprise is Sipili Falatea’s inclusion ahead of Mohamed Haouas, while Sekou Macalou will provide both back-row and wing cover.

Tupou starts as Campbell earns full debut

Baille will have a tough test up front with Taniela Tupou coming into the starting line-up for the Wallabies in the absence of Alaalatoa.

It was his scrummaging that had a huge influence on the series victory for the Wallabies last June, and Rennie will be hoping for more of the same as Tupou starts in a front row that also features skipper James Slipper and David Porecki.

That is the only change in the pack for the Wallabies, who have made three further switches in the back line.

Lalakai Foketi slots back into the midfield, while Jock Campbell earns a first Test start at full-back.

And last, but not least, Nic White comes back into the starting line-up at scrum-half, having spent a couple of seasons plying his trade in France with Montpellier.

On the bench, Tom Robertson gets the nod as the back-up tighthead prop, while Skelton will look to add his considerable impact when he enters the fray and Pete Samu is back fit as well.

Jake Gordon gets a chance as the back-up scrum-half with Reece Hodge the final new face in the 23.

Teams

France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Yoram Moefana, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand, 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Cameron Woki, 5 Thibaud Flament, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Charles Ollivon, 8 Grégory Alldritt

Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Romain Taofifénua, 20 Killian Geraci, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Matthieu Jalibert

Australia: 15 Jock Campbell, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Tom Wright, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 1 James Slipper (captain), 2 David Porecki, 3 Taniela Tupou, 4 Nick Frost, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 6 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Rob Valetini

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Hunter Paisami, 23 Reece Hodge

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