Wallabies wary of 'desperate' France

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:02
We understand that we must improve

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie has again warned his team over complacency, as they step up preparations for the second Test against France.

Despite a dominant seven-tries-to-two (50-23) victory in the opening Test in Brisbane last week, McKenzie said his squad must improve if they are to wrap-up the series against the French.

"France is one of the few one teams in the world who can make a lot of changes and still turn things around quickly in one week," the Wallaby mentor said.

"They never stay down for long and will be using the disappointment of the opening Test to motivate them for the second game.

"We were pleased with our performance on a short preparation, but we understand that we must improve if we're going to match a reinvigorated and desperate French line-up on Saturday."

McKenzie has made three injury-enforced changes to his starting XV for Saturday's second Test, with Michael Hooper set to become one his country's youngest ever captains.

Veteran hooker Stephen Moore (knee), lock Sam Carter (ankle) and back row forward Wycliff Palu (ankle) have all been ruled out.

Waratahs powerhouse Tatafu Polota-Nau replaces Moore, big lock James Horwill comes in for Carter for his 50th game for Australia and Western Force workhorse Ben McCalman will wear the No.8 jersey.

Hooper takes the reins at the age of 22 with Moore out for the rest of the year with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Not since great Trevor Allan became a 21-year-old skipper in 1947 has an Australian Test rugby team been led by a younger player.

The Australian Rugby Union said Jimmy Flynn remains Australia's youngest Test captain, leading his country at the age of 20 in 1914.