Wallabies make four changes for second French Test
The Wallabies have made four changes to the side which defeated France 34-13 last week, giving Lachlan Turner his debut in the second Test on Saturday.1 July 2008
SYDNEY - The Wallabies have made four changes to the side which defeated France 34-13 last week, giving Lachlan Turner his debut in the second Test on Saturday.
Turner, 21, steps in for injured Lote Tuquri on the wing while Stephen Hoiles takes over from No.8 Wycliff Palu, who was also hurt in the first Test in Sydney.
In two changes not forced by injury, Phil Waugh will start at openside flanker, swapping his place on the bench with George Smith, while Adam Ashley-Cooper takes over the fullback spot from Cameron Shepherd.
Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said the decision to sideline Tuqiri and Palu was straightforward.
"Initially the outlook was fairly promising on both of them," he said. "But in the end we've decided that it's not worth risking further aggravation of their current situations by playing them when they're not quite right."
Deans said both unforced changes were made because he wanted to give Waugh and Ashley-Cooper more time on the field, while the versatile Turner's all round game and recent form for Australia A earned him his Test debut.
"Lachie has been playing well for Australia A and working hard off the field when he has trained with us. We see this as a good opportunity to get his Test career underway," he said.
New Zealander Deans rated the Wallabies performance against France an improvement on their 18-12 win over Ireland in Melbourne a fortnight earlier, which was their first outing under his command.
But commentators say the renaissance must gather pace against the second-string French in Brisbane to prepare for the sterner tests in the Tri-Nations against World Cup champions South Africa and New Zealand.
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Hynes, Stirling Mortlock (capt), Berrick Barnes, Lachlan Turner, Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess, Stephen Hoiles, Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill, Al Baxter, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.
Reserves: Adam Freier, Ben Alexander, Dean Mumm, George Smith, Sam Cordingley, Ryan Cross, Cameron Shepherd.
[APF / Expatica]