Test Series

Cheika rings the changes for France clash

Michael Cheika has made sweeping changes for Australia's match against France this weekend, with Kyle Godwin set for an international debut.

Australia scraped a 23-22 win over Scotland last time out, but the matchday squad for Saturday's clash at the Stade de France features 12 changes.

Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Sefanaia Naivalu and Luke Morahan will make their first starts and Cheika believes it will prove a valuable exercise.

He said: "I just think it's the right time to let a guy prepare as a starter. Sometimes on the finishers, it's hard to know what you're going to get because you don't know when you're going to go on, it's hard to prepare."

On Godwin's maiden Test outing, for which David Pocock will be captain, Cheika added: "I happened to coach him on the 2014 tour, I didn't know a lot about him and I thought he was outstanding.

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

"I would not be lying if I said he'd stalled a little bit after that and 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.

"He's a player they won't know either so it's something different for them to look at. He's a solid defender and I just think he's ready for it."

France won the previous meeting between the two sides 29-26.

 

Australia team: Luke Morahan, Sefanaia Naivalu, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Henry Speight, Quade Cooper, Will Genia; James Slipper, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, David Pocock, Sean McMahon.

Replacements: Stephen Moore, Scott Sio, Tom Robertson, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Lopeti Timani, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Taqele Naiyaravoro.