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


Stay Connected

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

Together we're united for 6.8m regional Australians

Fairgo for regional australia.

Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and bill Shorten

NSW Regional Arts Fund applications open

LOCAL: Arts Northern Rivers 2016 RAF Project, If These Halls Could Talk, featured Beryl from Roundabout Theatre’s The Cupcakes.

Are you preparing an artistic project for 2017?

Snoop Wogg? We ask leaders the (un)important questions

The pop culture and lifestyle trivia we posed to Australian leaders

Latest deals and offers

Turnbull, Shorten in dead heat on election eve: polling

VERY few Australians expect Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to actually win on Saturday, but half will still vote for Labor as their first or second choice.

Together we're united for 6.8m regional Australians

Fairgo for regional australia.

Open letter to Malcolm Turnbull and bill Shorten

NSW Regional Arts Fund applications open

LOCAL: Arts Northern Rivers 2016 RAF Project, If These Halls Could Talk, featured Beryl from Roundabout Theatre’s The Cupcakes.

Are you preparing an artistic project for 2017?

Snoop Wogg? We ask leaders the (un)important questions

The pop culture and lifestyle trivia we posed to Australian leaders

Victim tells why paedophiles should not be named

Woman says whole lot of harm can come from shaming campaign

Lismore construction boom triggered by hospital upgrade

See where the cash is being spent on development in the city

Chasing Asylum documentary to screen locally

An image from the film Chasing Asylum by Australian director Eva Orner.

The latest film by Academy Award winner Australian Eva Orner

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?