Tupou named to start for Wallabies in second Test

Sun, 11/07/2021, 01:28 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Taniela Tupou comes into the starting side for the second Test. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named Taniela Tupou to start for the second Test against France at AAMI Park.

Tupou was a game-changer off the bench as he helped the Wallabies engineer an incredible two-point comeback win in the opening game of the series.

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His elevation pushes Brumbies skipper Allan Alaalatoa to the bench, with Rennie hopeful Tupou can help them get off to a better start after they fell behind 15-0 in the first 20 minutes.

“Taniela made a real impact on both sides of the ball when he came on in at Suncorp Stadium and we’ll be looking for him to do the same from the get-go in Melbourne," he said in a statement.

“We’ve worked hard and we’re well conditioned. A lack of accuracy in Brisbane denied us the opportunity to make the most of that, but we showed plenty of character to stay in the fight until the final whistle.

“We need to start fast, be more clinical and turn pressure into points at AAMI Park on Tuesday night."

Tupou turns the game

The change in the front row is the only one made by Rennie, who will carry the same matchday squad into consecutive Tests for the first time in his tenure as coach.

Rennie has resisted changing halves after a strong performance from Tate McDermott, giving Jake Gordon another chance to prove himself alongside Noah Lolesio.

Whilst James O'Connor was available for selection, Rennie admitted he wants to slowly bring him back up to full fitness given his long layoff from a groin complaint

Matt Philip will get the chance to start in a Test on AAMI Park soil for the first time, with the Rebel partnering Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the second row.

Meanwhile, Marika Koroibete will be looking to celebrate the birth of his third child, having returned to Melbourne after the first Test.

WALLABIES TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE

1. James Slipper (101 Tests)

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (10 Tests)

3. Taniela Tupou (26 Tests)

4. Matt Philip (10 Tests)

5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (26 Tests)

6. Rob Valetini (5 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (106 Tests)

8. Harry Wilson (7 Tests)

9. Jake Gordon (6 Tests)

10. Noah Lolesio (3 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (35 Tests)

12. Matt To’omua (55 Tests)

13. Hunter Paisami (7 Tests)

14. Tom Wright (4 Tests)

15. Tom Banks (12 Tests)

Replacements

16. Lachlan Lonergan (1 Test)

17. Angus Bell (4 Tests)

18. Allan Alaalatoa (44 Tests)

19. Darcy Swain (1 Test)

20. Isi Naisarani (9 Tests)

21. Tate McDermott (3 Tests)

22. Len Ikitau*

23. Andrew Kellaway (1 Test)

*denotes uncapped

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