Sport

Kepu and Douglas in call-up for Wallabies French test

THE Wallabies have promoted Waratahs duo Sekope Kepu and Kane Douglas into the starting line-up as they shoot for a record-equalling sixth consecutive win against the French in Paris.

The pair are the only changes to the starting XV for the clash on Sunday morning (Australian time), with Rob Simmons joining the bench in place of the injured Sitaleki Timani, and Berrick Barnes replacing Drew Mitchell.

With new trial rules in place for Test matches on the Spring Tour, squads have been enlarged to 23 players to cater for the inclusion of two prop forwards on the bench.

That will see James Slipper and Paddy Ryan get the chance to play at the Stade de France, with Ryan set to become the 13th newly-capped Wallaby for the year from 12 Test matches if he is required to take the field.

The Wallabies' backline has been decimated by injuries over the past few months, but utility Adam Ashley-Cooper said despite the raft of changes, the group was on its way to becoming a formidable unit.

Ashley-Cooper has played right across the backline as injuries to Kurtley Beale, Will Genia, Quade Cooper and Pat McCabe among others, have taken their toll on Robbie Deans' squad.

"It was disruptive at first," the 28-year-old said of all the injuries.

"You cannot build a combination if injuries are occuring all the time. We have had a lot of changes but I think now we are starting to gel."

Ashley-Cooper has good memories of playing at the Stade De France.

The Waratah three-quarter was part of the team which thumped the then Six Nations champion 59-16 two years ago, running in seven tries as the French let in 46 points in an amazing last 30 minutes of the game.

He knows the World Cup runners-up will be a tougher proposition this time round, but said the Wallabies were ready for the first game of what should be a tough tour.

While the Wallabies will face the new laws for the first time in internationals, the French have been playing under them since August.

The key changes will be seen at the scrum, where "crouch-touch-pause-engage" will be replaced by the shorter "crouch-touch-set", and at the breakdown where attacking teams will be given five seconds to "use the ball or lose it".

WALLABIES: Mike Harris, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Tapuai, Pat McCabe, Nick Cummins, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis, Nathan Sharpe, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota Nau, Benn Robinson. RESERVES: Stephen Moore, James Slipper, Paddy Ryan, Rob Simmons, Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Brett Sheehan, Berrick Barnes.

Topics:  france, kane douglas, wallabies


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Workmates credited with saving man from certain death

THANK YOU: Bruce O'Grady in the centre with (clockwise from left) Trent Court, Chris Aiken, Dale Ward and Scott Blackwell.

BRUCE O’Grady does not remember the morning of January 25, 2016.

Milestone unveiling for Orion

NOW OPEN: Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale officially opens Orion Springfield Central's Stage 2 exapansion with Mirvac's CEO and managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz.

Centre celebrates stage two completion

Latest deals and offers

Man stabbed in back at Bellbird Park

POLICE investigations into a stabbing at Bellbird Park in which a man and woman sustained injuries are continuing.

Workmates credited with saving man from certain death

THANK YOU: Bruce O'Grady in the centre with (clockwise from left) Trent Court, Chris Aiken, Dale Ward and Scott Blackwell.

BRUCE O’Grady does not remember the morning of January 25, 2016.

Milestone unveiling for Orion

NOW OPEN: Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale officially opens Orion Springfield Central's Stage 2 exapansion with Mirvac's CEO and managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz.

Centre celebrates stage two completion

Ignoring skin cancer will only end painfully

Mayor Paul Pisasale goes under the knife to have a basal cell carcinoma removed.Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

Half of the state's adult population sunburnt at least once a year

Young dancers wow circus judges

WELL DONE: Dancers from The Studio of Performing Arts Springfield placed in second at the Australian Circus Festival in Sydney.

Performers impress at Australian Circus Festival

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances