France's 132kg strongman for Wallabies dogfight

3 months ago 28
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Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper is bracing for a fierce French backlash from their beefed-up guardant battalion successful tonight's 2nd Test astatine Melbourne's AAMI Park.

Australia made conscionable 1 alteration to their broadside from the 1 that pulled retired a miraculous 23-21 archetypal Test triumph successful Brisbane, with elephantine prop Taniela Tupou replacing Allan Alaalatoa.

But France person matched that with a large bopper tighthead of their own, naming 1.92m, 132kg Castres strongman Wilfrid Hounkpatin to marque his Test debut.

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Wilfrid Hounkpatin of Castres volition marque his debut for France. (Getty)

"They're going to instrumentality it up different level this week," Hooper said.

"They've made 5 changes up beforehand and they're going to beryllium bringing a hellhole of a batch of emotion and physicality to this game.

"It's a batch of value up beforehand with some teams truthful it's going to beryllium a large contest."

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Michael Hooper and Dave Rennie of the Wallabies aft the archetypal Test. (Getty)

France manager Fabien Galthie has besides named 2 caller starting locks successful Pierre-Henri Azagoh and Cyril Cazeaux and 2 caller flankers successful Cameron Woki and Ibrahim Diallo.

"We cognize the French are coming successful blistery erstwhile it comes to acceptable piece, it's thing they pridefulness themselves on, truthful our afloat 8 has a work there," Hooper said.

The triumph successful Brisbane lifted the Wallabies from seventh to 5th successful the world, up of Six Nations runners-up France who slumped to sixth.

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But Wallabies manager Dave Rennie described the show arsenic "substandard" and the harsh world is they would person apt been good beaten by a afloat spot France.

"We privation to amended importantly this week and our absorption has been connected that, crossed the committee successful wherever we effort and get to and wherever we deliberation we tin wounded these guys," Hooper said.

"We deliberation we person truthful overmuch much successful us. We person to backmost our skillset to beryllium capable to get it to there, and we deliberation we tin bash immoderate harm to these guys."

Wallabies musculus to archetypal points

While acold from satisfied with the execution astatine Suncorp Stadium, Hooper - who scored a important precocious effort - was highly blessed with the cognition and combat of his side.

The effort and street-smarts of 3 substitutes - Tupou, Darcy Swain and Tate McDermott - combined to unit the important turnover aft the siren arsenic the Wallabies completed a miraculous turnaround.

"When you accidental it similar that, 15-0 down, we weren't truly taking that successful excessively overmuch astatine the time. We were focused connected what we could control," Hooper said.

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"Yes, determination were 15 points connected the board. But past we started to get a tally of things. We were focusing connected getting down into their zone, staying successful their zone, what benignant of points we would enactment connected the board...

"It was decidedly immoderate bully treatment going connected on the tract astir immoderate of the on-field leaders of however we could get backmost into the game.

"It proved to enactment for us, and determination volition beryllium clip wherever determination are challenges similar that passim the twelvemonth crossed the people of the teams we play. Perhaps adjacent time night."

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