Four Melbourne Rebels have been selected in the Wallabies Match Day 23 for Sunday’s clash against France in what will be Australia’s final Test before the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Carter Gordon and Andrew Kellaway have been named at 10 and 15 respectively, while Rob Leota and Matt Philip will look to provide plenty of late game spark, named as finishers for the highly anticipated clash.
Will Skelton will become the 87th Wallabies captain when he leads a young Wallabies side against Les Bleus, with just 258 Test caps of experience in the starting XV and 12 of the matchday 23 with less than 10 Tests to their name to date.
NSW South Coast junior Blake Schoupp and Port Douglas product Issak Fines-Leleiwasa are both in line to make their Test debuts as replacements against one of the Rugby World Cup favourites in France.
Lalakai Foketi will play his first international since he scored a World Rugby Try of the Year contender at the same venue last year. He’ll partner the dynamic Jordan Petaia in the midfield.
Rapid winger Suliasi Vunivalu will start on left edge for the first time in his Wallabies career, linking up with Mark Nawaqanitawase and Andrew Kellaway in the back three in Paris.
The halves pairing of Tate McDermott and Carter Gordon will combine for the third straight Test, looking to build on their promising partnership ahead of the World Cup. 22-year-old Angus Bell will be looking to continue his strong form since returning from a serious foot injury, joining the consistent David Porecki and Taniela Tupou in the starting front row.
Tupou earning his first Wallabies start since the corresponding Test in November last year. Skelton will partner fellow France-based lock Richie Arnold in the second row, while Jones has named an unchanged backrow from Dunedin, with Tom Hooper and Fraser McReight the flankers and Rob Valetini at number eight.
In what shapes as a number of players first professional matches in the northern hemisphere, Schoupp will be joined by Zane Nonggorr and Matt Faessler as the finishing front row.
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones said: “We’ve had an impressive preparation for the Rugby World Cup this week. Improving our physical capacity has been a priority and our Rugby fitness is rapidly improving and we will look to use it against France.”
“To play against the tournament hosts in front of a massive crowd at the venue for the Final is perfect preparation for us. “We are a young side, who is ambitious and in the process of developing our game.”
Watch every Wallabies Test ad-free, live & on Demand on Stan Sport and the Nine Network. Start your free Stan Sport trial now.
Wallabies team to play France at Stade de France, Paris on Sunday 27 August, 5:45pm CET/1:45am AEST
- Angus Bell (23 Tests)
- David Porecki (14 Tests)
- Taniela Tupou (48 Tests)
- Richie Arnold (4 Tests)
- Will Skelton (c) (28 Tests)
- Tom Hooper (3 Tests)
- Fraser McReight (12 Tests)
- Rob Valetini (34 Tests)
- Tate McDermott (vc) (25 Tests)
- Carter Gordon (4 Tests)
- Suliasi Vunivalu (2 Tests)
- Lalakai Foketi (5 Tests)
- Jordan Petaia (27 Tests)
- Mark Nawaqanitawase (6 Tests)
- Andrew Kellaway (23 Tests
- Matt Faessler (1 Test)
- Blake Schoupp*
- Zane Nonggorr (3 Tests)
- Matt Philip (28 Tests)
- Rob Leota (16 Tests)
- Langi Gleeson (3 Tests)
- Issak Fines-Leleiwasa*
- Ben Donaldson (2 Tests)