Thursday 20 July 2017

Cheika rests big guns for France

Australian rugby coach Michael Cheika (R) and captain Stephen Moore (L), who has been named on the Wallabies bench for tomorrow's test match in France. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Australian rugby coach Michael Cheika (R) and captain Stephen Moore (L), who has been named on the Wallabies bench for tomorrow's test match in France. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Australia coach Michael Cheika has rested a host of big names for tomorrow's Test with France at the Stade de France, with several big guns likely to return for the game against Ireland the following week.

Cheika makes seven changes to the team who beat Scotland 23-22 last Saturday, with Israel Folau, Michael Hooper and Dane Haylett-Petty omitted from the match-day 23.

Skipper Stephen Moore and Bernard Foley are named on an extended bench along with Taqele Naiyaravoro, who starred for the Barbarians in their draw with South Africa at Wembley.

Kyle Godwin will make his Wallabies debut while Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Sefa Naivalu and Luke Morahan are handed their first starts.

"I happened to coach Kyle on the 2014 tour, didn't know a lot about him and I thought he was outstanding," Cheika said.

"He didn't get a game on that tour but just as a young guy coming through was outstanding.

"I would not be lying if I said he'd stalled a little bit after that, didn't come through, but we made a decision this year to keep bringing him in the camp and just keep driving him because he's got a lot of talent and he's been really good this year for us."

Australia have won the opening two games of their northern hemisphere tour against Wales and Scotland. They face the French Barbarians on Thursday before Ireland and then England.

Irish Independent

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