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The Wallabies will welcome France to the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium as both teams look to claim a series victory. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 8pm AEST.
With the first two tests decided by just two points, everything is perfectly balanced for the third test decider. Will the Wallabies start 2021 with a momentum-building series win or will they stumble under the pressure and raise more questions than answers?
With the Series on the line, Dave Rennie has made eight changes to his Wallabies side after the frustrating two-point loss in the second test.
Tate McDermott gets the chance to start in the No.9 jersey and will be keen to put in an impressive performance on his home ground to show Rennie that he should be in the discussion for more starting opportunities. McDermott will need to dial up his game management skills as that has been lacking in the first two tests from Australia and they sorely need that skillset in their side.
Up front Darcy Swain and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto will start in the locks with Allan Alaalatoa replacing Taniela Tupou in the front row to give the front five a very Brumbies feel.
With Lachie Swinton getting another go in the Wallabies jersey, Rennie has brought in some genuine aggression into the back row along with the power of Isi Naisarani at No.8. That’s some proper muscle at the back of the pack for the Wallabies and Rennie will hope that these two especially can get his side on the front foot and give his backs time and space.
Those backs will appreciate an extra second or yard especially when you consider that lack of international experience in the exciting line up.
Tate McDermott, Noah Lolesio, Hunter Paisami and Len Ikitau have just 17 caps between them and the French will want to make that lack of experience pay. The Wallabies have a number of exciting potential centre partnerships for Rennie to experiment with and it’s going to be crucial that Paisami and Ikitau look to create genuine chances for the players around them and not just try and smash their way through the French defence.
The French too have made big changes from the Melbourne test with seven of the starting line up being changed for some fresh legs. Much has been written about the youthful French side but it’s worth remembering that whilst some first-choice names haven’t made the tour, this squad still contains talent that has pushed major nations like England in previous outings.
The French will be full of confidence after their win in Melbourne and breaking a losing streak that’s lasted for three decades. They have a real chance of picking up a famous series win in Brisbane and the Wallabies will need to put in a very good performance to stop the series slipping away from them.
With lots of changes to both sides, this could be a messy game that takes a while to find a rhythm and with the series on the line many might struggle under the pressure. It’s hard to pick a winner in this one but the Wallabies will just take it in another close one.
Wallabies by 3.
Kick-off: 8pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Officials: Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (NZ), Assistants: Mike Fraser (NZ), Brendon Pickerill (NZ), TMO: Glenn Newman (NZ)
TV: Channel Nine
Online: 9Now, Stan Sport
Odds: Wallabies $1.49, France $2.62 (odds via PlayUp)
1. James Slipper, 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Darcy Swain, 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 6. Lachlan Swinton, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Isi Naisarani, 9. Tate McDermott, 10. Noah Lolesio, 11. Marika Koroibete, 12. Hunter Paisami, 13. Len Ikitau, 14. Filipo Daugunu, 15. Tom Banks
Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Angus Bell, Taniela Tupou, Matt Philip, Rob Valetini, Jake Gordon, Matt To’omua, Reece Hodge
1. Enzo Forletta, 2. Gaetan Barlot, 3. Sipili Falatea, 4. Cyril Cazeaux, 5. Romain Taofifenua, 6. Dylan Cretin, 7. Cameron Woki, 8. Anthony Jelonch (c), 9. Baptise Couilloud, 10. Antoine Hastoy, 11. Teddy Thomas, 12. Arthur Vincent, 13. Pierre-Louis Barassi, 14. Damian Penaud, 15. Melvyn Jaminet
Reserves: Anthony Etrillard, Quentin Walcker, Demba Bamba, Pierre-Henri Azagoh, Alexandre Becognee, Julien Heriteau