Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

O'Connor and Genia in for Wallabies

Will Genia

Australia coach Robbie Deans has made just two changes to his starting XV for the Wallabies' final Test of 2010 against France on Saturday night.

Scrum-half Will Genia and wing James O'Connor are the men to return for the Trophee de Bicentenaries clash at the Stade de France, with Luke Burgess and Lachie Turner making way.

Genia was named on the bench for last weekend's 32-14 win over Italy as he recovered from the rib injury he suffered in the defeat to England at Twickenham, while 20-year-old O'Connor was absent as he returned to Australia on compassionate grounds.

Berrick Barnes, who kicked 22 points in Florence, keeps his place ahead of Matt Giteau in the centre while lock Rob Simmons and prop James Slipper retain their places in an unchanged pack after impressing in their first starts last time out.

Flanker Scott Higginbotham could become the 12th Wallaby to make his Test debut during the calendar year should he be called from the bench.

"Will was obviously part of the squad last week but we wanted to give him a chance to fully recover from his rib injury," Deans said. "It's good to have James back. He's had a tough week but he's come back in a really good frame of mind and he's looking forward to participating again on Saturday night.

"Being our last outing for the year definitely adds some importance to this game.

"Not only will it be our last impression from a team perspective, but it's the players' last opportunity to make an impression too leading into what is an important year next year with a World Cup approaching."

The Australia team to play France in Paris on Saturday is: K Beale (NSW Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), B Barnes (NSW Waratahs), D Mitchell (NSW Waratahs); Q Cooper (Queensland Reds), W Genia (Queensland Reds); J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), N Sharpe (Western Force), R Elsom (Brumbies, capt), D Pocock (Western Force), B McCalman (Western Force).

Replacements: T Polota-Nau (NSW Waratahs), B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), M Chisholm (Brumbies), S Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), L Burgess (NSW Waratahs), M Giteau (Brumbies), L Turner (NSW Waratahs).

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