Three changes for Wallabies

  • Last Updated: June 10 2014, 8:25 BST

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has made three forced changes to his starting side for Saturday's second Test against France in Melbourne.

James Horwill: Set to play in his 50th Test
James Horwill: Set to play in his 50th Test

Skipper Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter and number eight Wycliff Palu (both ankle) are all out with injuries suffered in last weekend's 50-23 victory over Les Bleus.

Tatafu Polota-Nau starts at hooker for Moore, who will miss the rest of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament two minutes into his captaincy reign, with Force rake Nathan Charles in line to make his Test debut off the bench.

Former captain James Horwill has been promoted to starting lock for his 50th Test, replacing Carter who will miss the rest of the France series with an ankle injury.

Force number eight Ben McCalman is the other addition to the run-on side for Palu, who also suffered an ankle injury and will be rested from the second Test as a precaution.

Rebels pair Laurie Weeks and Luke Jones are the other inclusions on the bench, with Jones in line to make his Test debut.

Back-rower Scott Higginbotham has also been named on the bench after he was a shock omission from the first Test.

Jones' former schoolmate Michael Hooper will captain the side for the remainder of the international season in Moore's absence.

Despite a dominant seven-tries-to-two victory in the opening Test, McKenzie said his squad must improve if they are to wrap up the series against the French.

"France is one of the few one teams in the world who can make a lot of changes and still turn things around quickly in one week," he said.

"They never stay down for long and will be using the disappointment of the opening Test to motivate them for the second game.

"We were pleased with our performance on a short preparation but we understand that we must improve if we're going to match a reinvigorated and desperate French line-up on Saturday night.

"It's disappointing to lose three key forwards through injury, but in Tatafu, James and Ben, we're bringing in a collective 126 game of international Test experience.

"They understand what Test rugby is all about and will be determined to make the most of the opportunities they're being given."

Australia team: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Nick Cummins; Bernard Foley, Nic White; James Slipper, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Ben McCalman.

Replacements: Nathan Charles, Pek Cowan, Laurie Weeks, Luke Jones, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Phipps, Kurtley Beale, Pat McCabe.


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