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Tupou rewarded with starting spot after Brisbane blockbuster from bench

 

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Taniela Tupou was selected to start for the Wallabies in eToro’s second test against France in Melbourne on Tuesday night after her explosive performance on the bench in Brisbane.

Taniela Tupou

The inclusion of Taniela Tupou is the only change made by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who picked the same 23-man squad on the same game day for the first time in consecutive games since taking office in 2020.

Tupou will team up with Queensland teammate Brandon Paenga-Amosa and James Slipper in the front row, with Allan Alaalatoa coming off the starting side.

Rennie said: “Taniela made a real impact on both sides of the ball when he entered Suncorp Stadium and we will be looking for him to do the same from the start in Melbourne.”

“We have worked hard and are well conditioned. A lack of precision in Brisbane prevented us from making the most of it, but we showed a lot of character to stay in the fight until the final whistle.

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

Returning Rebels Matt Philip to perform at AAMI Park for the first time in over 12 months, in partnership with Lukhan

Scrum-half Jake Gordon and last weekend’s penalty shootout winner Noah Lolesio earn another chance to build on their half-partnership, with Melbourne-born Matt To’omua and Melbourne-bred, Hunter Paisami is getting ready to combine in midfield.

Rennie has resisted calls for Tate McDermott after his big role in the late Wallabies thriller in Brisbane.

Matt To’omua of the Wallabies passes the ball. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images) The final test against France takes place on July 17 in Brisbane with the Bledisloe Cup opener against New  Tupou Zealand in Auckland on August 7.

Wallabies team

The Wallabies team will face France at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Tuesday July 13 at 8:00 p.m. AEST
1. James Slipper (101 tests)
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (9 tests)
3. Taniela Tupou (26 events)
4. Matt Philippe (10 tests)
5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (26 events)
6. Rob Valetini (5 tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (106 tests)
8. Harry Wilson (7 events)
9. Jake Gordon (6 tests)
10. Noah Lolesio (3 events)
11. Marika Koroibete (33 tests)
12. Matt To’omua (55 tests)
13. Paisami Hunter (7 checks)
14. Tom Wright (4 tests)
15. Tom Banks (12 tests)
Substitutes
16. Lachlan Lonergan (1 try)
17. Angus Bell (4 tests)
18. Allan Alaalatoa (44 tests)
19. Darcy Swain (1 try)
20. Isi Naisarani (9 events)
21. Tate McDermott (3 tests)
22. Len Ikitau *
23. Andrew Kelaway (1 try)
* means uncapped

© AAP

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