Youngster Michael Hooper is the 82nd Wallabies' Captain. Image courtesy of: dailytelegraph.com.au
Wallabies v France
Saturday June 14 – 8:00 PM (AEST)
The Wallabies are well aware that they didn’t play the best France had to offer last Saturday night. Pummelling the visitors 50-23 was always on the cards. But the Frenchmen welcome back some big names to their starting squad. If the Wallabies hope to make it two-straight wins, they need to strengthen up the middle and not give away too many silly penalties.
The injury to Stephen Moore is a huge blow for the Wallabies. The inspirational skipper barely played 10 minutes before sustaining a knee injury. 22 year-old Michael Hooper has been given the reins, making him one of the youngest-ever Wallabies' captains. Also sitting on the sideline is rookie Sam Carter, who will miss the rest of the series with high ankle sprain. On the plus side, Izzy Falou had one of his best games in the green and gold on the weekend. He played with so much urgency and finesse it was hard for anyone to fault him. James Horwill comes into the starting side to for Carter, with Tatafu Polota-Nau replacing Moore at hooker.
France head into Saturday’s clash knowing that it’s do-or-die for them. Being one of the best rugby nations in the world for so long, they were embarrassed last week in Brisbane. The return of captain Thierry Dusautoir is a timely one. Sitting on the sidelines with an injury last week, the veteran knows what it takes to bounce back. Returning with Dusautoir is flanker Yannick Nyanga, halfback Morgan Parra, fly half Remi Tales and hulking outside centre Mathieu Bastareaud. The match-up between Hooper and Dusautoir will be youth against experience. Hooper is in the prime of his career, while at 32, Dusautoir is winding down on an illustrious career.
This will be a much different game than the one we saw in Brisbane. France will be out for revenge, so the Wallabies need to be on their game.
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