Australia coach Michael Cheika has rested most of his top names for tomorrow’s clash with France as the test is the only one on the tour that is not part of the Wallabies’ grand slam bid.
Cheika made seven changes to the team who beat Scotland 23-22 last Saturday and 11 players who took part in the Murrayfield match or the 32-8 victory over Wales will not start at the Stade de France.
Israel Folau, Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Stephen Moore, and Dane Haylett-Petty, the only players to play in all Australia’s tests this year, will not start tomorrow. Folau, Hooper, and Haylett-Petty are not even on the bench.
Cheika handed centre Kyle Godwin his first cap and gave first starts to Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Sefa Naivalu, and Luke Morahan.
“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,” Cheika said yesterday.
Australia still have to play Ireland and England on their European tour.
Meanwhile, Rob Howley has urged an expectant Welsh public to give teenage sensation Keelan Giles time and space as he prepares for a potential test debut.
The 18-year-old Ospreys wing’s blistering pace and dazzling footwork have already drawn comparisons with Wales’ record international try-scorer Shane Williams.
A Principality Stadium crowd of more than 70,000 could see what all the fuss is about tomorrow after Giles was named among Wales’ replacements for their autumn series clash against Japan.
When asked what the Welsh public should expect from Giles, interim head coach Howley adopted a cautious stance. “Give him time,” he said.
Howley has made 10 changes to the starting XV following last weekend’s 24-20 victory over Argentina.
The switches include a recall for centre Jamie Roberts, who was dropped to the bench against the Pumas, and opportunities for Cardiff Blues half-backs Gareth Anscombe and Lloyd Williams, Ospreys prop Nicky Smith, and Newport Gwent Dragons lock Cory Hill.
Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny, meanwhile, swap positions with Williams moving to full-back and Halfpenny on the wing, his first Wales start as a wing since the 2011 World Cup, with flanker Sam Warburton captaining the team.
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