France had a strong second half to end up convincing 40-15 winners over Fiji in Marseille last weekend, with debutant winger Teddy Thomas scoring a hat-trick. They’ve since named an unchanged side for Saturday’s clash with the Wallabies.
Test debuts don’t come much better than that of 21-year-old Thomas, who scored his first try within a minute of kick off, then picked up another two to seal his hat-trick in the five-try performance.
Fiji were right in the game when trailing 14-8 in the second half, but Thomas’ second try started what turned out to be a very convincing win in the end.
He has naturally retained his place for the meeting with Australia, as does Scott Spedding, the South African born fullback who also made his debut last weekend.
“You don’t change a winning team. I saw some positive signs” said coach Philippe Saint-Andre said when reflecting on the Fiji match. “We want to carry on with the same 15, who will need to find even greater understanding and teamwork against Australia.”
He was impressed with the debutants, specifically Thomas. “He’s fast, he wins his challenges and he scores tries. Spedding’s first cap was a quality performance, the same goes for Dumoulin.”
France lost all three Tests to the Wallabies in their June series, so Saint-Andre is out for revenge.
“We have a triple revenge to take. What struck me most was the third test (39-13 defeat) where we collapsed too quickly. That’s unacceptable when you represent a country,” he said.
France: Scott Spedding, Yoann Huget, Alexandre Dumoulin, Wesley Fofana, Teddy Thomas, Camille Lopez, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Damien Chouly, Bernard Le Roux, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Yoann Maestri, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, Guilhem Guirado, Alexandre Menini. Reserves: Benjamin Kayser, Uini Antonio, Xavier Chiocci, Alexandre Flanquart, Charles Ollivon, Rory Kockott, Remi Tales, Mathieu Bastareaud
Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali’ifano, Joe Tomane, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (capt), Sean McMahon, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper. Reserves: James Hanson, Benn Robinson, Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Matt Hodgson, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Rob Horne
Below are the France vs Fiji match highlights if you missed the game last weekend