France and Australia roll out big guns
November 22, 2008
Matt Giteau will be out to make a dent in France's growing confidence © Getty Images
Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Sebastien Chabal have been drafted into France's starting XV for Saturday's Test against Australia in Paris.
Tillous-Borde of Castres comes in at scrum-half for the injured Jean-Baptiste Elissalde while Sale's Chabal replaces Romain Millo-Chluski at lock.
They are the only two changes to the side that started the 42-17 victory over the Pacific Islanders on Saturday.
Fulgence Ouedraogo is retained in the back row, meaning Montpellier team-mate Louis Picamoles is again on the bench, while Lionel Faure beat off competition from fellow prop Fabien Barcella to keep his place in the front row. David Skrela has shrugged off a minor knock to take the number 10 jersey for the third match in succession.
Tillous-Borde scored a try against the Islanders after coming on as an 18th-minute replacement for Elissalde, who was knocked out following a dreadful tackle by Napolioni Nalaga that earned the Fiji winger a red card.
Elissalde is still feeling the effects of Nalaga's tackle and will be out of action for two weeks, giving Tillous-Borde the chance to impress. The 23-year-old knows the Wallabies well as his previous two caps prior to his appearance on Saturday came against them in the summer tour Down Under.
Julien Tomas will be Tillous-Borde's understudy after coming into the squad on Sunday as Elissalde's replacement.
Chabal has been used as an impact substitute in France's first two November Tests, the 12-6 win over Argentina and last week's match against the Islanders. A No.8 by trade, he has been used as a lock by France since last year's World Cup and played there for Les Bleus against Australia in the summer.
The selections of Dean Mumm, Ben Alexander and Wycliff Palu are the only changes to the Wallabies side named today for Saturday night's rugby union Test against France in Paris.
Palu returns to the starting line-up for the first time since injuring the medial ligament in his knee against New Zealand at Brisbane in September. He comes in for Richard Brown, whom he replaced after 45 minutes during last weekend's 28-14 win over England. Brown, who sustained injuries to his knee and hand during that match, has been omitted from this weekend's match-day squad.
After playing from the replacements bench at Twickenham, Mumm returns to the blindside flanker's role he occupied in the opening two matches of the Wallabies' Spring Tour. His selection comes at the expense of lock Mark Chisholm, who moves to the bench, with Hugh McMeniman reverting from the side of the scrum into the second row. McMeniman made his comeback from an ankle ligament injury at lock against Italy two weeks ago, before switching to the blindside flank last weekend.
Alexander, who made such a big impression in his run on debut against Italy two weeks ago, takes over from Benn Robinson, who has started in all but one of the Wallabies' 12 Tests to date in 2008.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the change was designed to spread the work load while encouraging the development of both players. "Benn Robinson has had a big year and we're mindful of that, while Ben Alexander showed against Italy, and earlier in the year during the Tests against France back in Australia, that he was capable in this company. Saturday night gives him another opportunity while allowing Benn Robinson to freshen up for the remaining games of the tour."
Deans says a similar philosophy was at play in the change involving Mumm, McMeniman and Chisholm, and also on the bench where Sekope Kepu and David Pocock have been added. Robinson, Brown and tighthead prop Matt Dunning are the three players to be omitted from last weekend's match day squad.
Wallaby captain Stirling Mortlock will play his 75th Test in Paris. In achieving this mark, Mortlock will tie former centre Jason Little as the 10th most capped Wallaby in history.
Digby Ioane was a last-minute replacement for Ryan Cross in Australia's back line. Ioane slots in on the left wing with Drew Mitchell reverting to full-back and Adam Ashley-Cooper filling in at outside centre, where Cross had been down to play.
Winger Lote Tuqiri has been drafted onto the bench.
France: Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Julien Malzieu (Clermont-Auvergne), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Benoit Baby (Clermont-Auvergne), Cedric Heymans; David Skrela (both Toulouse), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Castres); Lionel Faure (Sale), Dimitri Szarzewski (Stade Francais), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Lionel Nallet (Castres, capt), Sebastien Chabal (Sale), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Fulgence Ouedraogo (Montpellier), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: Benoit Lecouls (Toulouse), Benjamin Kayser (Leicester), Romain Millo-Chluski (Toulouse), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Julien Tomas (Bourgoin), Damien Traille (Biarritz), Alexis Palisson (Brive)
Australia: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies); Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds), Ryan Cross (Western Force), Stirling Mortlock (Brumbies, capt), Drew Mitchell (Western Force); Matt Giteau (Western Force), Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs); Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Stephen Moore (Queensland Reds), Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs), Hugh McMeniman (Queensland Reds), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs), George Smith (Brumbies), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)
Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs), Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs), Mark Chisholm (Brumbies), David Pocock (Western Force), Sam Cordingley (Queensland Reds), Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds)
Referee: C. Joubert (SA)
Assistant Referees: C. White (Eng), D. Changleng (Sco)
TMO: G. De Santis (Ita)