France bring in Teddy for series decider
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: France coach Fabien Galthie recalled dangerous wing Teddy Thomas among seven changes for the final Test against Australia after their breakthrough win in Melbourne.
His side head into Saturday’s third and series-deciding clash at Brisbane on a high after clinging on for a 28-26 upset at Melbourne’s AAMI Park this week on the back of the golden boot of Melvyn Jaminet, who drilled seven penalties.
Australia, who have made eight changes to their side for the showdown, clinched a close-fought first Test 23-21, leaving the series on a knife-edge.
After shuffling his pack for the second Test, Galthie again switched four forwards with Clermont tighthead prop Sipili Falatea and Montpellier loosehead prop Enzo Forletta coming in.
They will line up alongside Toulon lock Romain Taofifenua and Lyon flank Dylan Cretin.
Galthie also shook up the backs, with Racing’s Thomas, France’s most experienced player who has scored some brilliant tries for his country, getting the nod for the first time on tour.
Flyhalf Antoine Hastoy and centre Pierre-Louis Barassi also get starts.
Six players – Gatean Barlot, skipper Anthony Jelonch, Baptiste Couilloud, Arthur Vincent, Damian Penaud and Jaminet – will play a gruelling third Test in 11 days.
France: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Antoine Hastoy, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Anthony Jelonch (captain), 7 Cameron Woki, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Cyril Cazeaux, 3 Sipili Falatea, 2 Gaetan Barlot, 1 Enzo Forletta.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Quentin Walcker, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Pierre-Henri Azagoh, 20 Alexandre Becognee, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Anthony Bouthier, 23 Julien Heriteau.
Date: Saturday, July 17
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 20.00 (12.00 Franch time; 10.00 GMT)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)