Australia v France, 3rd Test
Wallabies primed for clean sweep
June 18, 2014
The Wallabies will be aiming for a clean sweep as they head into the Bledisloe Cup © Getty Images
The Wallabies have double the incentive to complete their first three-nil clean sweep of the French in Saturday's dead-rubber Test at Allianz Stadium. Apart from eyeing a small slice of history, the Wallabies are chasing a seventh straight Test win for the first time since 1999/2000 and lock Rob Simmons says the significance of such a feat hasn't gone unnoticed.
"The last Wallabies team to do that won a World Cup," Simmons said. "So if we can get seven in a row, it puts us in good stead going forward. It's a good way to finish the series because we've got a little break from the squad and, if we do get a win, it'll be good to come back on a positive note before playing the All Blacks."
Set for his first Wallabies appearance under second-year coach Ewen McKenzie, reserve back Rob Horne said carrying winning momentum into the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener in Sydney on August 16 was vital.
"Even though we've already won the series, it doesn't mean anything if we go out there on Saturday and not play well," Horne said. "So those interim goals are key. It's a week-to-week prospect in rugby, so those things keeps everyone focused and ready to go."
France and Australia have only contested one three-Test series previously, when McKenzie featured as a player in the Wallabies' 2-1 victory on home soil in 1990. On that occasion, Les Bleus avoided a series whitewash by winning the final Test in Sydney 28-19.
Coach Philippe Saint Andre made two changes to the starting side that lost the second Test in Melbourne 6-0 last Saturday. Saint Andre recalled first-Test fullback Hugo Bonneval to replace Maxime Medard on the wing for Saturday's series finale in Sydney, while Fulgence Ouedraogo comes into a reshuffled back row.
Ouedraogo will start at openside flanker, forcing French captain Thierry Dusautoir to the blindside. Yannick Nyanga has been relegated to the bench.