France v Australia
James Horwill starts for Wallabies
ESPN Staff
November 13, 2014

James Horwill has been recalled to Australia's starting XV, the former Wallabies captain replacing Sam Carter in the second-row for the Test against France at Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

And Quade Cooper has earned a return to the bench with coach Michael Cheika opting for a 5-3 split after going with just the two backs against Wales last week. Cooper started the opening match against the Barbarians before Bernard Foley returned at No.10 in Cardiff.

Sekope Kepu, meanwhile, was named to play his 50th Test, the tight-head becoming just the sixth Wallabies prop to reach the milestone after Ben Alexander (70 games), Benn Robinson and Al Baxter (69), James Slipper (60) and Ewen McKenzie (51).

"Sekope has been a great player for Australian rugby over a long period of time and I speak for everyone when I congratulate him on this very special milestone," Cheika said.

"He has proudly represented the Wallabies for seven years and the experience he now brings to this team is invaluable. He still has plenty of improvement in his game and I'm confident his best years of rugby are ahead of him."

Cheika is expecting a vastly different France team to that which Australia swept 3-0 in Australia during June.

"The French have a completely different mindset when they are playing at home, as well as some exciting new players in their squad, and we are under no illusions as to the intensity they are going to bring to the game," he said. "For us, it is still early days and we are getting used to a new system in attack and defence. I was happy with the first steps we took against Wales.

"The challenge for us this week was to ensure that we raised the bar much higher in terms of our accuracy and intensity at training. We really want to do Australia proud against France this weekend."

Cheika is yet to finalise the bench, and he will confirm and announce the replacements in the final lead-up to the match.

Wallabies: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Leali'ifano, Joe Tomane; Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps; Ben McCalman, Michael Hooper (captain), Sean McMahon; Rob Simmons, James Horwill; Sekope Kepu, Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper. Replacements: James Hanson, Benn Robinson, Ben Alexander, Will Skelton, Matt Hodgson, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Rob Horne.

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