Tour success on line for Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tour success on line for Wallabies

By David Beniuk PARIS, Nov 26 AAP - A successful spring tour for the Wallabies will be on the lin 26/11/2010 06:29:09 PM Comments (0)

Heading home without a victory over either of the European powers they will have faced will hardly be considered mission accomplished, despite the tour-opening breakthrough victory over the All Blacks in Hong Kong.

The 35-18 loss to England two weeks ago and a defeat against France would leave Australia's northern hemisphere campaign yielding scrappy wins over minnows Wales, the world No.9 side, and 12th-ranked Italy.

The French are currently ranked fifth and the Wallabies would be left with nine months to contemplate how they will handle several European sides they are certain to encounter at next year's World Cup if they were to go down at the Stade de France.

"If we were to get a win, absolutely, it would be a successful tour," coach Robbie Deans said.

"That's what we're chasing." With France picking a big side and Australia's scrum sure to feel the heat in what will be icy conditions with an 8.45pm kick-off in Paris, the Wallabies will hope their brilliant backs can bamboozle Les Bleus as much as centre Berrick Barnes did the French media at a team press conference on Thursday.

Barnes, who will again start at inside centre ahead of the benched Matt Giteau, ensured the language barrier was a two-way street when he was asked about the huge French centre pairing of Aurelien Rougerie and Yannick Jauzion.

"There's a bit of prime beef there, isn't there, some big units," he said in answer to a local journalist's question.

"There's not much you can do, they put their pants on one leg at a time so you've just got to tackle them, don't you?" Giteau's slide down the pecking order was confirmed by his second straight Test as a reserve, Deans saying Barnes had fought his way back into the side.

"He's really worked his way back into form and he's worked hard for the opportunities he's got," Deans said.

"(There's) not a lot in it but we've opted for Berrick in this instance because we think it will serve us well." Despite Barnes kicking eight from nine in last week's win over Italy, James O'Connor returns to the goalkicking duties, while Will Genia (ribs) is back in the No.9 jersey.

Queenslander Scott Higginbotham should finally make his Test debut from the bench after he injured his back in the warm-up in Pretoria, where he was named to play South Africa in August.

"It's been a very up and down year, quite a tough year," he said.

"I haven't had a break since 2010 pre-season because I've gone from playing to injury rehab to playing to injury rehab.

"To get on and get a cap would be a pretty fantastic way to end the year." Australia and France play for the Trophe des Bicentenaries, currently held by the Wallabies.

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