Wallabies are wary of young and hungry France – .

Wallabies are wary of young and hungry France – .

Brisbane (Australia) (AFP)

Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper has no illusions that his team has their work cut out against a young French team, although the Blues lack key players and are confined to 14 days of quarantine.

The two teams kick off the first of three 11-day tests at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Wednesday, both keen to prove their credentials.

It will be the season opener for Australia after just one of six wins in an erratic 2020 under new coach Dave Rennie, while France’s inexperienced squad will desperately seek to impress boss Fabien. Galthie.

Hooper, who is back home from a stint in Japan, said he was wary of the unpredictability of a team with seven rookies on Matchday 23.

“They’re going to shoot, we know that,” the 105 test flanker said on Tuesday. “We know they’ve only been quality in the Six Nations with some of the firepower they have through the park.

“It’s going to be a great little series, and a tough one considering it’s three games in 10 or 11 days,” he added.

Rennie is wary of France on the counterattack and on turnover.

“It’s a very strong team, maybe not all the names known to people in this part of the world,” he said. “Sometimes younger guys are hungrier, are desperate to impress, and can be more picky. “

Galthie, who lacks a host of regulars, including those of the Top 14 finalists Toulouse and La Rochelle, has seven uncapped players in its workforce, including five on the bench.

They include Melvyn Jaminet, an inexperienced full-back, with only winger Damian Penaud, center Arthur Vincent and substitute captain Anthony Jelonch remaining in the starting lineup of the final round of the Six Nations, a loss to Scotland. in March.

– Big challenge –

Team manager and former captain Raphael Ibanez admitted having such an inexperienced tour was “a huge challenge”, but “we think they have enough talent to compete with the best”.

“I know Australia want to play physical, fast and aggressive rugby and we will be ready for that, we are looking forward to this challenge as a team,” he added.

Although he was allowed to train during their lockdown, Ibanez said it hampered their preparations, although Hooper saw it differently, suggesting it could work in France’s favor.

# photo1 ″ It’s a pretty good camp environment, 40s. You are on top of each other, you have no outside distractions, ”he said.

“It’s tricky, but being on top of each other can usually bond a lot and it forces the guys to spend time on the team. “

Australia enter the clash without veteran James O’Connor, who is injured but supported by playmaker Matt To’omua who is recovering from a sprained neck.

He will relaunch his partnership with Hunter Paisami while Jake Gordon replaces injured scrum half Nic White, who has been left out of the series.

Noah Lolesio will wear the No.10 jersey in O’Connor’s absence while Tom Banks, Tom Wright and Marika Koroibete make up the bottom three.

Up front, loose pillar James Slipper will play his 101st test alongside fellow veteran Hooper.

They have four uncapped players on the bench – Lachlan Lonergan, Darcy Swain, Len Ikitau and Andrew Kellaway.

Australia (15-1):

Tom Banks; Tom Wright, Hunter Paisami, Matt To’omua, Marika Koroibete; Noah Lolesio, Jake Gordon; Harry Wilson, Michael Hooper (captain), Rob Valetini; Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Matt Philip; Allan Alaalatoa, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper

Remplacements : Lachlan Lonergan, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Darcy Swain, Isi Naisarani, Tate McDermott, Len Ikitau, Andrew Kellaway

France (15-1)

Melvyn Jaminet; Damian Penaud, Arthur Vincent, Jonathan Danty, Gabin Villière; Louis Carbonel, Baptiste Couilloud; Sekou Macalou, Anthony Jelonch (captain), Dylan Cretin; Romain Taofifenua, Killian Geraci; Demba Bamba, Gaétan Barlot, Jean-Baptiste Gros

Substitutes: Anthony Etrillard, Quentin Walcker, Sipili Falatea, Florent Vanverberghe, Baptiste Pesenti, Cameron Woki, Teddy Iribaren, Anthony Bouthier


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