WALLABIES ANNOUNCE TEAM FOR OPENING TEST AGAINST FRANCE
Trophée des Bicentenaires at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 7 June
Qantas Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has announced an in-form 23 man line-up for Saturday night’s opening Castrol EDGE France Tour clash against the French at Suncorp Stadium.
Following in the footsteps of his father and former Wallaby David Carter, 24-year-old ACT Brumbies lock Sam Carter will become Wallaby No.879 when he makes his Test debut in the starting line-up on Saturday night.
It will also be a memorable occasion for prop James Slipper and No.8 Wycliff Palu with both set to play their milestone 50th Test match for Australia. For Palu, he will become just the second No.8 in Australian Rugby history to reach the mark, behind only Toutai Kefu (57 games).
McKenzie has also chosen a new playmaking partnership for the Qantas Wallabies opening Test of 2014 with Nic White and Bernard Foley earning their spots at scrumhalf and flyhalf respectively.
It will be White’s third starting opportunity for Australia after playing consecutive matches in the number nine jersey against Argentina and South Africa during the 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
Foley, who earned four caps during his maiden Test season in 2013, has been rewarded for a dominant Super Rugby campaign and will take on the goal-kicking responsibilities in his first starting opportunity for the Qantas Wallabies.
McKenzie said form was critical in finalizing his 23 man match day squad.
“We function in a performance environment and so it’s important to reward those who have consistently played at a high level over the course of the season,” McKenzie said.
“This year we’re in a particularly strong position whereby so many of our players have been performing well for their provinces. The margins are so small but it unfortunately does mean that quality players are going to miss out, which is the case for our opening Test against France.
“However, selection will always be a week-to-week proposition at a Test level and the challenge now is for those players chosen to continue playing at the high level we know they can.”
McKenzie also backed his new play-making duo to make the most of their opportunity.
“Nic and Bernard are two players who have had a huge influence in the results of their provincial teams over the past two seasons,” he said.
“I’ve also been pleased to see their development as play-makers since getting a taste of Test Rugby last year and you can sense they have a real confidence in running a game.
“We have a very specific style of game we want to play – the Wallaby way – and their two skill-sets complement each other in ensuring we can deliver our game-plan on the night.
“They’re also established goal-kickers and you can never underestimate the importance of this skill at an international level.”
New Qantas Wallabies captain Stephen Moore will lead an experienced front-row of Slipper and Sekope Kepu, while Carter partners line-out-caller Rob Simmons in the two lock positions.
In the backrow, vice-captain and openside flanker Michael Hooper reignites his back-row partnership with blindside flanker Scott Fardy, with powerhouse Wycliff Palu at No.8.
Matt Toomua combines with ACT Brumbies teammate Tevita Kuridrani in the midfield, while there is a consistent look to the back-three in wingers Nick Cummins and Adam Ashley Cooper, along with fullback Israel Folau.
Tickets are on sale for the Castrol EDGE France Tour, which begins at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 7 June; travels through Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday 14 June; and concludes with a family-friendly Saturday afternoon encounter at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday 21 June.
The Qantas Wallabies 2014 Castrol EDGE France Tour schedule is:
Saturday 7 June
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday 14 June
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Saturday 21 June
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
|Last 10 Games played between the Australia and France|
|10-Nov-12||France||33 – 06||Australia|
|27-Nov-10||France||16 – 59||Australia|
|27-Jun-09||Australia||22 – 06||France|
|22-Nov-08||France||13 – 18||Australia|
|5-Jul-08||Australia||40 – 10||France|
|28-Jun-08||Australia||34 – 13||France|
|5-Nov-05||France||26 – 16||Australia|
|2-Jul-05||Australia||37 – 31||France|
|13-Nov-04||France||27 – 14||Australia|
|29-Jun-02||Australia||31 – 25||France|
|Games Played||42||Games Played||42|
|*Games Won||23||*Games Won||17|
|*Games Lost||17||*Games Lost||23|
|Games Drawn||2||Games Drawn||2|
|*Longest Winning Streak||6||*Longest Winning Streak||4|
|*Longest Losing Streak||4||*Longest Losing Streak||6|
|*Largest Points For||59||*Largest Points For||34|
|*Largest Points Against||34||*Largest Points Against||59|
|*Largest Winning Margin||43||*Largest Winning Margin||28|
|*Largest Losing Margin||-28||*Largest Losing Margin||-43|
|*Total Points For||870||*Total Points For||737|
|*Avg Points For||20.71||*Avg Points For||17.55|
|*Total Points Against||737||*Total Points Against||870|
|*Avg Points Against||17.55||*Avg Points Against||20.71|
|*Total Points Difference||133||*Total Points Difference||-133|
|*Avg Points Difference||3.17||*Avg Points Difference||-3.17|
|* = By Australia||* = By France|
POSSIBLE RR World Rankings outcome on Result
AUS (on 86.87 points) at home -vs- FRA (on 80.04 points)
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|If AUS win by 1-15 points||0.017||86.89||80.02||No|
|If AUS win by more than 15||0.026||86.90||80.01||No|
|If result is a draw||0.983||85.89||81.02||No|
|If FRA win by 1-15 points||1.983||84.89||82.02||No|
|If FRA win by more than 15||2.974||83.90||83.01||No|
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 James Horwill, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Pat McCabe.
France: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Felix le Bourhis, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Nicolas Mas (c), 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Remi Lamerat, 23 Brice Dulin.
Date: Saturday, June 7
Kick-off: 20:00 local (11:00 BST, 10:00 GMT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Source : RugbyRedefined.com