Wallabies v. France : Team Announcement - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies v. France : Team Announcement

Wallabies v. France : Team Announcement

The Wallabies will be looking to make it four from four against the French in 2014 when they clash in Paris on Sunday morning (AEDT).

The Wallabies are two from two so far on this five match tour and take on a French side full of confidence after defeating Fiji 40-15 last weekend in what is Sekope Kepu’s 50th Test match for Australia.

There is only one change to the starting side that defeated Wales with James Horwill returning at lock in the starting lineup at the expense of Sam Carter.

The makeup of the bench is still to be confirmed and will be done so closer to kick off.

1. James Slipper
2. Saia Fainga’a
3. Sekope Kepu
4. James Horwill
5. Rob Simmons
6. Sean McMahon
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. Ben McCalman
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Joe Tomane
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Tevita Kuridrani
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
15. Israel Folau


  • PiratesRugby

    Good on Cheika for keeping faith with McMahon. Big game for the young fella.

    • JimmyC

      Agreed. Last week would have taught him a hell of a lot more than the week before

      • Bill

        Agreed.I don’t know who the backrow for france is but I’m pretty sure young Sean is not going to find it any easier. But those are the experiences that you love as a player. He was half a step away last time out, he may be still. I wouldn’t chuck him into that cauldron too many times at this stage, but he is worth persisting with.

    • trent

      My response is the opposite to yours. How did Cheika keep his in the 15? The bench is where he belongs. I don’t want a green player with his training wheels on getting starting time. He was good in patches last week but was also involved in 3 of the French tries. Poor call. He is a lucky man.

      • muffy

        Given that we are not privy to mid week training, questions and responses, I am prepared to wait and see before I crack a whinge about a new player.
        Experienced players playing below par however is another thing…

      • Observer

        Probably more the view that he can get on there and see how he goes, but if he’s not coping then he’s subbed out. Much like you would with an injured player.
        Take the risk early on and if it’s a blunder, then you sub and bring in someone to finish the job.

      • Phil

        I know,I know,you want Hodgo in.Interesting he let in 3 tries against France when they haven’t played them yet!

      • Have you travelled from the future? I thought we played Wales last week? Have you got the Lotto numbers too? ;)

        • Sambo

          Oh god no!

        • trent

          Apologies. The team was indeed the Welsh.

          God of he helps with 3 tries to the French too I’ll be furious! I’m sure that won’t happen. But I still think that he proved he isn’t quiet ready and time off the bench is kinder and more appropriate

      • Traveller

        You are a clown mate. Was at the game. By the sound of you he was the only one that made a mistake. I can see why Australian Rugby is going down hill. I doubt whether you would have made it out of the backyard playing rugby or any sport. The boys put on a good show in a tough arena with 60000 Welsh wanting a win. To debut there was a great experience for McMahon. Strange thing is the only people to bag him or the other boys is some clowns in Australia that have no idea what they are talking about. Even the head of Welsh Rugby had nothing but praise for the boys and the debutants for what he described as a great game even if they did not quite get over the line. So why don’t you pull you head out of your arse and be a little positive.

        • bad ass

          Go easy, McMahon did not have a great game last week.

    • Seb V

      Pretty sure he’s just resting Higgers, who will be much needed at 100% against England and Ireland.

  • Axemen

    Very interesting no reserves bench named as yet – dont know if it is due to injuries or illness but I think it is great idea ensuring all the squad keep working for a spot during a Test week. Would be hard for the guys that are constantly out of the 23 each week to stay motivated. Will say it again – would love to take another 5 players on tour and play some midweek games against clubs for the firs 2-3 weeks of the tour.

    • I think the team will know the bench selections

      • AndrewWA

        I wouldn’t be too sure of that.
        These players are professionals not school boys.
        Very poor form trying to keep them on tenderhooks until the last minute.
        Bit like crying wolf…..only works the once!

        • So you are sure of that?

        • AJ

          As sure as he is of the term ‘tenderhooks’.

    • Brendan Hume

      Couldn’t agree more regarding mid-week fixtures. AB’s had a test in the USA, Maori’s in Japan and half the bloody Barbarians team, a week after the ITM cup final.

      Players become better by playing with and against better players, which is the whole idea behind the NRC. I’d like to see a mid-week program with the tour squad as well as another NH tour to somewhere like the USA, Japan, for another development team, with June development matches played against SH nations like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, etc.

      These players and coaches are being paid by their provinces anyway, you’d be looking at throwing in another $150K or so in travel and accommodation for a three week tour… give some NRC players a shot.

      Depth in talent doesn’t happen through chance – it takes a long term investment to provide the opportunities.

      • lez

        Do you know if we still field a Wallaby A team? i believe that is probably our best chance, and is one reason why we were able to perform so well – to blood up and coming players against well tuned sides.

        It could have been scrapped a year or two back by the ARU, but yet it was a good option.

        Edit: just researched , but apparently this was scrapped in 2009 due to “financial constraints”. I guess this is because the ARU lacks the funds, compared to NZ, who have the support of the nation.

        • Brendan Hume

          This year the Super Rugby squads had A teams playing against Pacific nations I think. From memory Queensland A played Samoa at Ballymore…
          Australia had more money than NZ after 2003. Its just that it hasn’t been used well and now it’s all gone. I still think the opportunity is there to improve the depth by running these types of tours, it just takes some foresight, commitment, support from sponsors and some priority shifting with the budgets… Severances packages for Robbie Deans and John O’Neill would have supported it for a couple of years…

  • HK Red

    Like it, looks a good XV. Still not overly impressed with Tomane at 11, he’s struggled to convert his SXV form to the test arena. I like though that Cheika is giving him another crack to settle into the role. This experience can only stand him in good stead in the future and with Speight and JOC (if he can keep his head together) to come into the squad, stocks are looking strong.

  • bob

    How does Tomane stay on the wing? He’s so overrated and Horne is in career best form.

    • Seb V

      And Speight has been the best winger in the country for the past 3 years.

      • Ted

        Where is Speight? Is he injured?

        • Seb V

          He played the Baa Baa’s game but wasn’t up to his usual high standards, probably still not fully recovered yet. No news of him not being selected due to injury though. I still think he deserves a shot.

    • Jack

      Yep, not a fan.

      • Seb V

        Not a fan of Speight…. Do you watch rugby?

        • Jack

          Tomane champ, not a fan. Not sure how you got that from me agreeing with bob. No, I only watch quoits, but when that’s not on I occasionally flick over to the rugby.

        • Seb V

          My bad, Tomane is a mixed bag, he does some good with some bad. With some more consistancy in his game he could come good. I’d still prefer Speight. Horne is playing well but I still think he is a centre filling a wingers role.

    • jamie

      Speight = no show
      Horne = slow

      • Sambo

        and what exactly does tomane = ???

        • Jay-c

          Fast, big, strong and the best hands in the backline.
          Do yourself a favour and go watch last years end of season tour highlights again

        • Sambo

          So by that logic we should have QC starting at flyhalf? Thanks for the tip Jay-c bro

        • Seb V

          Yes we should have QC starting, Foley is overrated.

        • Bushpig

          Hahaha, Answered the obvious yourself and an uppercut. Legend

    • Bill

      Because he’s just better than Rob. It’s that simple. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rob but I like Tomane more.

    • The Rant

      Politics I reckon. Too many Tahs… :) While I think the best should be picked I guess Cheika has to balance a whole new stakeholder group and will be aware that it wont be good to have a team perception that this is just a waratah takeover.
      In which case wing is probably the best spot to put a non-tah in if you were worried.
      That’s my take cause its the only thing that makes any sense to me cos I agree. Horne is in great form…dare I say badgeresque

  • Sambo

    What’s with the love affair with Tomane? I would definitely prefer to see Horne in there. Hopefully Seklton named on the bench. He destroyed the froggies during their 3 test series here.

    • RugbyStu

      “X-factor”?, Contract negotiations? Hair envy?

    • WTF?

      Pretty amazing since Skelton only played the last game….

  • brumby runner

    Fiji last week played like a team of amateurs, Very little structure in their defensive lines. Mainly relied on one on one tackles stopping the French, which they did quite well for 75% of the game. The French were rather disappointing in not being able to exploit the weaknesses in the Fiji game until late when fitness probably also came into the equation.

    If France play like that this week, I can see another win for the Wallabies.

    • updog

      that’s Fiji for you matey, free flowing running game with very little structure at all. that’s why they dominate in 7s

  • Joeleee

    I like the whole not naming the bench thing. It means we don’t get “How could they possibly not include XXXXX, it clearly shows Cheika is biased against YYYYY team/trying to prove he’s not biased towards the Tahs”, because there’s always a chance XXXXX is on the bench.

    • Chinese Dave

      By that logic, he shouldn’t name the squad at all. We can all find out at the whistle and not be able to whinge about it.
      Also, considering that the whingeing about selections isn’t broadcast over loudspeakers, you could simply not read the comments to avoid it.
      We all like our Rugby here, but before the game is played, and after, what is there to do apart from watching replays, and discussing, or whingeing about the tactics and the players.
      And on that note, how could Cheika not include Lachie Turner in the squad, just goes to show he’s biased against The Fastest White Man Alive.

  • mattyjinred

    Could it be Cheika hasnt named the bench as the French havent named their team and he will decide what he needs once they show their cards?

  • RugbyStu

    Good team, I am assuming that Higgers is injured/struggling for fitness. Hopefully Speight gets a chance. Really happy for Horwill, he deserves and I hope he has an absolute blinder! Good luck boys turn them into pate, squash those froggie bastards!

    • I read elsewhere that Higginbotham should be back next week

    • Seb V

      I’m assuming they don’t want to rush Higgers back, they will want him at 100% against Ireland and England.

  • Brendan Hume

    Geez, you’d reckon Slipper, Kepu and Hooper would be fucked by the end of this tour. Don’t look like getting a break.

    • I hope they are completely fucked by the end of this, mainly through ensuring Ben ‘the hinge’ Alexander doesn’t see anymore game time.

  • AB

    Feels a bit like somebody has just moved Christmas with Speight’s non selection -waiting patiently all year for him to qualify and now he’s not being selected! We all know he is the best winger in the country – pick him for god sake and let him build some form in gold….

    • Perhaps his
      Hammy isn’t 100% yet. If it’s not better to rest him.

      • AB

        Saw the whole wallabies team at the gym I go to the day before they flew out and Speight was definitely doing the most athletic hamstring stretches I have ever seen – he certainly wasn’t holding back

      • Steve

        Agree with this Sully – unfortunately when it comes to hamstring tears (and I should know) they can let go without warning, and a second tear can have career-long implications for an athlete.

        That being said – I agree with AB that it will likely take some time for Speight to build some form for the Wallabies. The Islander boys all seem to be extremely humble and understated so it may take him some time to build his confidence at the next level.

        Kuridrani I recall having some shockers when he first appeared.

        • Bill

          It’s a shit of an injury to deal with. It finished my playing days, it’s just a very disappointing and frustrating thing, you can work so hard to come back and be flying without a care in the world and then pop,pop bang, you’re done son. So I hope Speight has a few years to go yet, he is special.

  • Seb V

    Horwill for Carter a good choice.

    • Chris

      We’ll see if it’s a good choice as the game unfolds, but Cheika does like hard locks as he showed at the Tahs and Horwill is probably the hardest in the squad. Certainly a selection consistent with Cheiks’ views on the game. Carter worked hard but doesn’t make huge impact. Problem for him may be that he doesn’t have the impact from the bench and loses out to Big Willy.
      Hope Cheik swings Hodgo on a bit earlier for McMahon as he had excellent impact last game. Let’s McMahon go hell for leather too.
      I thought Tomane had a fair game against Wales. Speight doesn’t seem 100%. Might see him on the bench but my hunch is that he’s a starter or nothing.
      Hope the forwards have been practicing their scrumming all day every day. The surface at the Stade isn’t great so they’ll need the long studs.

      • Phil

        Having never been a Tomane fan,I also thought he showed some promising improvement against Wales,especially as the game went on.

    • theduke

      Would love to see Howrwill get a dose of the Faiingas and impose himself on this game.

  • Brad

    Prefer Horne over Tomane, and I really hope Horwill brings his intensity from 2011.

    • jamie

      Horne is slow unfortunately

      • He’s certainly slower than Sarel Pretorius, but so are many wingers over 20m.

        • Bill

          Everyone is slower than Sarel over 20metres. That’s not a criticism. It’s just a fact.

        • The shame for Horne is that before his hammy problems he had express pace. When he started playing for the Waratahs he was the fastest over 40m.

    • Drongo

      Agree with Brad. Tomane is a physical specimen. I can see why coaches like him; but he’s turned in some pretty average performances recently. I thought he performed badly against ABs and SA in RC… and i still have nightmares about his upright runs against BIL. However to be fair he did play really well in the last game against the Boyos. Contrast to Horny – who I don’t think has put a foot wrong (other than his accidental foot) all season.

    • Seb V

      Horne is a centre who’s been shifted to wing because AAC is one of the best and most experienced. I’d prefer specialist wingers. Horne will be a world-class centre once he gets more game time there.

  • Avid

    Just got back from the future … yes Speight was picked, yes got a maiden try, and YES McCaw got carded v Scots.

    • Bobas

      Great Scott?

    • Chinese Dave

      Unfortunately the fucking kiwis usually outscore their opposition when they’re a player down. Much better when McCaw is penalised in the dying minutes of a game allowing a certain moustachioed fly half to kick the winning goal!

  • Straith

    Please give us quade cheks

    • Chinese Dave

      Um, no. Thanks in advance!

      • jamie

        Why not? Open your eyes. Haha. Asian jokes

        • Birdman

          Phil Ken Sebben?


Canberra born and bred Rugby fan brought up on Canberra Kookaburra and ACT Brumbies Rugby.

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