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.

Rainbow club shines at Gold Coast regatta

Rainbow Region Dragon Boat Club at the Gold Coast's Broadwater regatta.

Teams battled it out in blistering heat

FORECAST: Perfect storm for a lazy weekend

Rain is on the way on the Northern Rivers.

Much needed heat relief expected to continue

Regional fathers needed to fight against male suicide rates

Regional fathers are needed in the fight against male suicide rates.

If you're a father aged 28-32 take part in this widespread survey

Local Partners

Tower built, now the recruits are coming

SINCE the opening of the new Marine Rescue tower in Ballina in October last year, the volunteer organisation has had at least a dozen new recruits.

BIG RIDE: Matt to bring out smiles for Smiddy

LONG WAY ROUND: Matt Muir raises his bike in triumph on his ride last year.

Fundraiser at Yamba Shores Tavern ahead of 800km charity ride

Buddhism pioneer shares life's mission

Lama Ole Nydahl will be presenting a new documentary in Ballina.

About the first ever Western students of Buddhism in Nepal

Mr Grey is back, just fifty shades darker

SCREENING: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in a scene from the first trailer for the movie Fifty Shades Darker.

Advance screenings next week

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

How a first home buyer built house with no deposit

NEARLY THERE: Construction on the first house to home orphans at Umoja began in January.



Photo Contributed

His home will be completed later this year.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!