Wallabies name squad for First Test against France

Mon, 05/07/2021, 02:30 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie speaks after announcing his side for the First Test against France.

Jake Gordon has completed an incredible recovery from injury, named to start for the Wallabies for the first Test against France at Suncorp Stadium.

Gordon will line up in the halves alongside Noah Lolesio, with James O’Connor failing to overcome a groin strain.

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The scrumhalf suffered an MCL injury last month whilst playing for the Waratahs, telling Rugby.com.au he initially feared his season was over.

Brumbies props James Slipper and Allan Alaalatoa have been named to start alongside Reds hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa in the front-row, with Matt Philip and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto rounding out the tight five in the second-row.

Captain Michael Hooper is joined in an exciting back-row with Rob Valetini and Harry Wilson.

Matt To'omua has recovered from a groin complaint and will partner Hunter Paisami in the centres, with Marika Koroibete, Tom Wright and Tom Banks forming an electric back-three.

There are four debutants on the bench, with Lachlan Lonergan, Darcy Swain, Len Ikitau and Andrew Kellaway primed to make their debut.

They are joined by damaging props Taniela Tupou and Angus Bell, Rebels number eight Isi Naisarani and Reds scrumhalf Tate McDermott.

“The whole squad has been training really hard over the past three weeks to prepare for what’s going to be an exciting, tough series against the French," Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.

“We’ve always selected a side based on earning the right to wear the jersey and this team is no different.

“The whole group is excited to be back playing Test Rugby in front of our families and supporters and we’re looking to start the year with a positive result at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.”

WALLABIES TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE

1. James Slipper (100 Tests)

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (8 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (43 Tests)

4. Matt Philip (9 Tests)

5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (25 Tests)

6. Rob Valetini (4 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (105 Tests)

8. Harry Wilson (6 Tests)

9. Jake Gordon (5 Tests)

10. Noah Lolesio (2 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (32 Tests)

12. Matt To’omua (54 Tests)

13. Hunter Paisami (6 Tests)

14. Tom Wright (3 Tests)

15. Tom Banks (11 Tests)

Replacements

16. Lachlan Lonergan*

17. Angus Bell (3 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (25 Tests)

19. Darcy Swain*

20. Isi Naisarani (8 Tests)

21. Tate McDermott (2 Tests)

22. Len Ikitau*

23. Andrew Kellaway*

*denotes uncapped

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