Three Rebels named for France Blockbuster

Fri, Nov 4, 2022, 12:03 AM
Rebels Media
by Rebels Media

Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie has name three Melbourne Rebels in his side for Sunday's blockbuster against France in Paris.

Rebels star Reece Hodge has been recalled to the match day 23, joining Matt Gibbon and Andrew Kellaway.

Meanwhile, Taniela Tupou will run on as tighthead prop after Allan Alaalatoa was ruled out with concussion. He joins captain James Slipper and hooker David Porecki in the front row, the former playing his 125th Test for the Wallabies.

Waratahs leader Lalakai Foketi returns to the gold jersey at inside centre after missing out in Edinburgh and will reignite his midfield partnership with Len Ikitau who starts at outside centre for the eighth consecutive Test.

The final change to the run-on side sees Nic White back in the number nine jersey for the first time since the side played South Africa in Sydney, combining with Bernard Foley who will again steer the side from flyhalf.

Brumbies teammates Nick Frost and Cadeyrn Neville will again be important at the set-piece as the starting lock pairing, the former making a strong impact in the side’s one point win at BT Murrayfield.

An unchanged backrow sees Waratahs duo Jed Holloway and Michael Hooper as the blindside and openside flanker respectively, with Rob Valetini anchoring the scrum in the familiar number eight jersey. Hooper passing great mate Adam Ashley-Cooper last weekend to become the outright fourth most-capped Wallaby with 122 Test appearances.

Western Force front rower Tom Robertson has been named to play his first Test for 2022, and is one of just five players (Foley, Hooper, Slipper, Skelton) in the matchday 23 who were involved the last time the side played at Stade de France, where they earned a 25-23 win in 2016. He joins new club teammate Folau Fainga’a and Rebels loosehead prop Matt Gibbon as the finishing front row.

Stade Rochelais lock and 2022 European Champion, Will Skelton has been selected for his first match in Wallaby gold this year, named as the finishing second rower, while Pete Samu has recovered from a back injury to return to the team as the backrow cover.

NSW captain Jake Gordon will bring energy as the reserve scrumhalf, while Hunter Paisami shifts back to the pine as the midfield cover.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said: “Jock’s had a great year for Queensland and the Australia A side and has earned the right to start for his country.”

“While we were happy to get a win to start the tour, we know we have a lot more in us and will need to be much better on Saturday against what is probably the best team in the world.

“To play France in Paris less than one year out from a Rugby World Cup here is an incredible opportunity and one we’re all excited by.”

Every Wallabies Test from the 2022 Spring Tour will be ad-free, live and on-demand with extended coverage on Stan Sport.

Wallabies team to play France at Stade de France, Paris on Saturday 5 November, 9:00pm CET/7:00am AEDT (Sunday)

  1. James Slipper (c) (124 Tests)
  2. David Porecki (8 Tests)
  3. Taniela Tupou (44 Tests)
  4. Nick Frost (6 Tests)
  5. Cadeyrn Neville (4 Tests)
  6. Jed Holloway (7 Tests)
  7. Michael Hooper (122 Tests)
  8. Rob Valetini (28 Tests)
  9. Nic White (57 Tests)
  10. Bernard Foley (74 Tests)
  11. Tom Wright (19 Tests)
  12. Lalakai Foketi (4 Tests)
  13. Len Ikitau (22 Tests)
  14. Andrew Kellaway (19 Tests)
  15. Jock Campbell (1 Test) Replacements
  16. Folau Fainga’a (34 Tests)
  17. Matt Gibbon (3 Tests)
  18. Tom Robertson (27 Tests)
  19. Will Skelton (21 Tests)
  20. Pete Samu (29 Tests)
  21. Jake Gordon (16 Tests)
  22. Hunter Paisami (21 Tests)
  23. Reece Hodge (60 Tests)

2022 Spring Tour Fixtures

Wallabies 16 defeated Scotland 15, Sunday 30 October at BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Wallabies v France, Sunday 6 November, 7:00am AEDT at Stade de France, Paris

Wallabies v Italy, Sunday 13 November, 12:00am AEDT at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

Wallabies v Ireland, Sunday 20 November, 7:00am AEDT at Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Wallabies v Wales, Sunday 27 November, 2:15am AEDT at Principality Stadium, Cardiff

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