Sport

Kepu and Douglas in call-up for Wallabies French test

THE Wallabies have promoted Waratahs duo Sekope Kepu and Kane Douglas into the starting line-up as they shoot for a record-equalling sixth consecutive win against the French in Paris.

The pair are the only changes to the starting XV for the clash on Sunday morning (Australian time), with Rob Simmons joining the bench in place of the injured Sitaleki Timani, and Berrick Barnes replacing Drew Mitchell.

With new trial rules in place for Test matches on the Spring Tour, squads have been enlarged to 23 players to cater for the inclusion of two prop forwards on the bench.

That will see James Slipper and Paddy Ryan get the chance to play at the Stade de France, with Ryan set to become the 13th newly-capped Wallaby for the year from 12 Test matches if he is required to take the field.

The Wallabies' backline has been decimated by injuries over the past few months, but utility Adam Ashley-Cooper said despite the raft of changes, the group was on its way to becoming a formidable unit.

Ashley-Cooper has played right across the backline as injuries to Kurtley Beale, Will Genia, Quade Cooper and Pat McCabe among others, have taken their toll on Robbie Deans' squad.

"It was disruptive at first," the 28-year-old said of all the injuries.

"You cannot build a combination if injuries are occuring all the time. We have had a lot of changes but I think now we are starting to gel."

Ashley-Cooper has good memories of playing at the Stade De France.

The Waratah three-quarter was part of the team which thumped the then Six Nations champion 59-16 two years ago, running in seven tries as the French let in 46 points in an amazing last 30 minutes of the game.

He knows the World Cup runners-up will be a tougher proposition this time round, but said the Wallabies were ready for the first game of what should be a tough tour.

While the Wallabies will face the new laws for the first time in internationals, the French have been playing under them since August.

The key changes will be seen at the scrum, where "crouch-touch-pause-engage" will be replaced by the shorter "crouch-touch-set", and at the breakdown where attacking teams will be given five seconds to "use the ball or lose it".

WALLABIES: Mike Harris, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Ben Tapuai, Pat McCabe, Nick Cummins, Kurtley Beale, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis, Nathan Sharpe, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota Nau, Benn Robinson. RESERVES: Stephen Moore, James Slipper, Paddy Ryan, Rob Simmons, Radike Samo, Liam Gill, Brett Sheehan, Berrick Barnes.

Topics:  france, kane douglas, wallabies




REVEALED: 3 stunning local homes up for architecture awards

The Strong House at Ballina, by Barker Studio.

Sneak peek inside some of North Coast's most spectacular properties

Shark barrier to be moved into place today

Work has begun this morning to float the shark barrier into place at Lennox Head.

Process has begun this morning

CAUGHT: High range drink driver with no licence

DRINK DRIVING: Drivers put their own life and that of others at risk whenever they drink and drive.

Man tried to walk away from car, but returned positive breath test

Latest deals and offers

Falls Festival tickets go on sale today

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

We've got all the details you need to make sure you don't miss out

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m